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CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS

First Family Spends Christmas at Camp David

Aired December 22, 2001 - 11:28   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: President Bush has left for Camp David, after ceremonies welcoming the Olympic Torch to the White House. The flame was brought there by a runner whose husband died in the September 11 terror attacks.

Our White House Correspondent Kelly Wallace is there to tell us a little bit about it. Actually, we all got to watch it, Kelly. It was pretty awesome.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Kyra, we've been saying all morning what a powerful moment it was here at the White House. It's one of those stories where the pictures really say it all.

We saw Elizabeth Anderson Howell running with the Olympic Torch. There she is running on to the South Lawn here at the White House.

Elizabeth's husband, 25-year-old Brady Howell was killed in the Pentagon. He was working as a presidential management intern at the Department of the Navy, killed in the September 11 attacks.

Elizabeth bringing the torch to President Bush there in that white cowboy hat, and then the president lighting the Olympic Cauldron. Mr. Bush saluting Elizabeth.

Also a local college student who carried the torch out of the White House, who volunteered at the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. The president saying these two individuals, as well as all the other torch bearers carrying the Olympic Torch really represent the best of America.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The 2002 Olympic Games will officially begin when this torch reaches its destination in Salt Lake City.

It's 13,500 mile journey will bring it through 46 states, carried by some 11,500 torch bearers. Each torch bearer's story is a lesson in citizenship and courage and compassion.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WALLACE: And after that ceremony, the president, the first lady, the president's daughters and other members of the Bush family boarded Marine One heading to the presidential retreat to spend the holiday weekend at Camp David.

The president and the democrats using their weekly radio addresses to pay tribute to those hurting this holiday season, those who lost loved ones in the attacks, also military men and women who are serving their country.

But also, the president and democrats talking a bit of politics. Mr. Bush saying he was disappointed that the Senate failed to pass a bill to give a boost to the economy and help laid off workers. Democrats though, blaming republicans, saying the GOP simply wanted to favor the rich and big business.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

CHARLES RANGEL, REPRESENTATIVE (D) NEW YORK: Meanwhile, millions of laid off workers are in need this holiday season. Many families do not have access to adequate unemployment insurance or health insurance coverage, and yet the republicans have held hostage every penny of relief until the Senate passes their special interest tax breaks.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

WALLACE: And, Kyra, as you know we talked a lot after September 11 about the bipartisanship -- the spirit of bipartisanship here in Washington. Most believe that has simply gone away, and partisan differences and bickering likely to resume when lawmakers come back in January. Kyra, back to you.

PHILLIPS: All right, CNN's Kelly Wallace live at the White House. Thanks a lot, Kelly.

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