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Remarks to the Champion University of Maine Ice Hockey Team and an Exchange With Reporters

April 19, 1993

The President. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It's an honor for me to welcome the University of Maine Black Bears, the winner of the NCAA Division I hockey national championship to the Rose Garden and the White House. I understand from Senator Mitchell that this is the first team from the University of Maine ever to win a national championship. And we're glad to have them here.

I'm inspired not only by how the team pulled together to win the championship but how the entire State pulled together to cheer them on to victory. Coming from a State that is also relatively small in size but also filled with pride and tradition and community, I can understand how the people of Maine must feel about the Black Bears. In our State, people are still talking about the time we won the Orange Bowl over the number one ranked football team, and that was back in 1978. I'm sure that 15 years from now the people of Maine will be as proud of this team as they are today.

You know, in my State football is a slightly more popular sport than hockey. We don't have a lot of ice. [Laughter] But after spending 3 months getting banged around in this town, I can understand a little more about hockey than I did before I came here. Hockey is a tough game; it's a hard-hitting sport. It does have one virtue though, there's a penalty for delay of game. I wish we had that rule in the Senate. [Laughter] In Government, as in hockey, leadership is important. In the United States Senate, our team has a great captain, the majority leader and the senior Senator from Maine, George Mitchell; junior Senator Cohen looks so young, I can't imagine. [Laughter] I'm actually bitter about Senator Cohen because he looks so much younger than me.

On your hockey team the captain, Jim Montgomery, has done a great job. He scored the winning goal late in the championship game, leading you to a come-from-behind victory, something else I know a little bit about. Sport brings out the best in individuals and in teams and in communities. I share the pride that Senator Mitchell and Senator Cohen and Congressman Andrews and all the people of Maine must feel for the Black Bears who have shown us all how to play as a team, how to bring out the best in one another, and how to come from behind. I think it's important, as I ask young people from around America who have achieved outstanding things in working together to come here to the White House to be recognized and appreciated by their country, to remember that those kinds of values and those kinds of virtues need to be ingrained in all of us for all of our lives. We now have another role model, and I'm glad to have them here today.

[At this point, the President was presented with a team jersey.]

The President. That's great. I love it. It's beautiful.

[The President was then presented with an autographed hockey stick.]

The President. Thank you. That's great.

Branch Davidian Religious Sect Standoff

Q. Mr. President, did you authorize the move on Waco this morning, sir?

The President. I was aware of it. I think the Attorney General made the decision. And I think I should refer all questions to her and to the FBI.

Q. Did you have any instructions for her as to how it should be executed?

The President. No, they made the tactical decisions. That was their judgment, the FBI.

Q. Is this a raid?

The President. I want to refer you to, talk to the Attorney General and the FBI. I knew it was going to be done, but the decisions were entirely theirs, all the tactical decisions.

Stimulus Package

Q. What did you and Senator Mitchell talk about this morning?

Q. Any chance for that stimulus package?

The President. Senator Mitchell ought to pay my quarter. I was in there— [laughter] -

Senator Mitchell. You have to pay that quarter.

The President. I was ready. [Laughter]

Senator Mitchell, he's worth a quarter any day.

Q. Any chance for your bill, sir?

The President. We talked about what was going to happen this week in the Senate and about what other meetings we're going to have for the rest of the week. We only had about 5 minutes to talk, and we agreed we'd get back together later, around noon, and talk some more.

Q. Senator Dole said over the weekend that your compromise is no compromise.

The President. Well, I know he did, but look, Senator Dole and a lot of the other Republicans now in the Senate voted for the same kind of thing for Ronald Reagan in 1983. And our research indicates that a majority of them over time voted for a total of 28 emergency spending measures totaling over $100 billion when Reagan and Bush were President, in those administrations. And many of those purposes were not nearly as worthy as putting the American people back to work. I don't want to go back and revisit every one, but you can do it. You can look at the research there. So this position they're taking is not credible. We have a very tough 5-year deficit reduction plan. All these costs are covered during that time and then some. And the very people that are saying this has all got to be paid for don't have much of a history on which to base their position. They've got 12 years of votes for stimulus measures of this kind that had very little to do with putting the American people back to work. So I think we've got a chance to work it out, and I'm hopeful. We'll see what happens today and tomorrow. I'm feeling pretty good about it.

NOTE: The President spoke at 9:58 a.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to the assault by Federal agents with armored vehicles and tear gas on the Branch Davidian religious sect compound in Waco, TX. The action ended a 51-day standoff which began on February 28 when Federal agents raided the compound in an attempt to serve warrants for firearms violations on David Koresh, leader of the sect. A portion of these remarks could not be verified because the tape was incomplete.

William J. Clinton, Remarks to the Champion University of Maine Ice Hockey Team and an Exchange With Reporters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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