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Bush Presented Bullhorn He Used at Ground Zero on September 14th

Aired February 25, 2002 - 11:47   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.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: And this is videotape that we're getting in from the White House, as President Bush is presented with the bullhorn that he used at ground zero on September 14th. Let's listen in.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... and his son and daughter who are here, and son-in-law.

As you may remember, I met Bob on the heap of a burned out fire engine in New York. And he didn't know, and I didn't know that we were going to meet that day.

And I had -- I was traveling there with George Pataki and Rudy Giuliani, and it was my chance after the National Prayer Service to go to New York City and tell the good people of that town, that city, how the nation stood with them. I had a chance to go and see the firefighters and police officers who had been, you know, given every ounce of their energy to rescue their fellow citizens. And I was given a bull horn. And it turned out to be one of those moments where I had a chance to speak to the world on behalf of the citizens of New York, and Bob was standing there by my side.

I told Bob when he came in, "You made me famous that day." But I want to thank you, Bob, for coming back.

We thank Colonel Weist (ph), as well. He rescued the bull horn. And they're here to let me keep the bull horn for the library.

There's a father and son exhibit that's going to go on at the Bush Library -- Bush 41 Library at Texas A&M, and this will be one of the key parts of the exhibit. It's a historic, really historic memento, something we didn't choose, but it's one of those days that I'll never forget.

And I want to thank you. And it was an amazing experience.

You know, I didn't realize at the time that you and I walked up on the heap of a burned out fire engine. I didn't realize that. And what's interesting, as a result of that, some people in Louisiana saw us standing on the fire engine and went and raised money for a new fire engine for New York, so that event had a lot of interesting ramifications to it.

Good ahead, George.

GOV. GEORGE PATAKI, NEW YORK: Mr. President, since September 11 you've provided incredible leadership and really inspired the country, and there are many unforgettable moments. But one that Bob and I and his family and much of America will never forget was, three days after that attack when you came to ground zero, and it was exactly the right time. As Bob can tell you, everybody was exhausted and worn out. And you didn't come for a photo op, you spent hours touring the site and shaking hands with the firefighters and the construction workers.

And I'll never forget the moment when you and Bob stood on that wreck. And the president was talking, and one of the construction workers yelled out, "We can't hear you." And the president said, "Well, I can hear you. The whole world hears you. And pretty soon those evildoers will be hearing from us." And, Mr. President, they have heard from us, and your leadership has been inspiring.

And this is what you said those words with, and I'm proud to present it to you for the presidential library. Americans will never forget this. BUSH: Thank you. Thanks, George.

PATAKI: Thank you.

QUESTION: Mr. President?

BUSH: Yes?

QUESTION: Are you satisfied with Pakistan's response in the Daniel Pearl case? And is the United States interested in pursuing or indicting the primary suspect that is now in custody there?

BUSH: I am satisfied with the response of President Musharraf and the Pakistan government. I got a phone call from him when I was flying back from China. And I could tell from the tone of his voice how distraught he was, how disturbed he was that this barbaric act had taken place in his country. He knew full well that those killers did not represent the vast, majority of the people in his own country, and he vowed to me on the phone that he would do everything in power to chase down the killers and bring them to justice.

BUSH: And, yes, we're always interested in dealing with people who have harmed American citizens.

QUESTION: Mr. President, what are your thoughts on an economic stimulus package now? Do you think there's really an opportunity to work with the Democrats in the Senate, particularly given signs that, albeit slowly, the economy is beginning to recover?

BUSH: Well, I got to tell you something, it's a matter of will and desire. If people put their mind to something, we can get things done in Washington, D.C.

I think we need an economic stimulus package. I think it's important for our economy. I think anytime people are not working, who need to be working and want to work, we've got to do everything we can to make sure the environment is such that they can work.

Secondly, I'm going to talk to the governors today and remind them that in the economic stimulus package was some emergency Medicaid money, as well as national emergency grants.

Let me put it this way: Emergency grant money to help Medicaid bills, as well as grants for emergency situations, to help people with their health care bills.

And, yes, I think we need that bill, and I hope the Senate will take it up and pass it.

QUESTION: Have you told Secretary Rumsfeld to get rid of the office of disinformation...

BUSH: I told Secretary Rumsfeld -- I didn't need to tell him this, he knows how I feel, I saw it reflected in his comments the other day -- that we'll tell the American people the truth. And he was just as amazed that I was about reading, you know, some allegation that somehow our government would never tell the American people the truth. And I've got confidence, having heard his statement, I heard him this morning talk about it, they'll handle this in the right way.

QUESTION: There was a report over the weekend, Mr. President, that questioned the administration's commitment to the EPA Superfund. Are you committed to fully funding the Superfund...

BUSH: I'm committed to cleaning up the environment without enriching lawyers.

I think there's too much litigation when it comes to environmental clean-up. What I want is action and results, and so we're looking at ways to make sure the Superfund fulfills its mission. And you cannot sue to clean air, clean water, and clean land. It's got to be a system that focuses on efficient good ways to make sure we accomplish the mission.

And I think, so, yes, we're looking at ways to reform the system to make sure it works, to make sure it actually accomplishes what Congress wants it to accomplish.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

BUSH: I haven't made a decision yet on steel. I haven't made a decision on steel yet. I'm in the process of reviewing all the facts.

But I have made a decision on the need for the use of technologies to clean up our air and explore for more energy and change the automobile fleet. One of these days, this little lady right here is going to be driving an automobile with a hybrid engine in it and a fuel cell in it. And it's going to work, and I hope I'm around to see it, too.

(CROSSTALK) QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

BUSH: (OFF-MIKE) Thank you all.

(CROSSTALK)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAGAN: We have been watching a presentation, some tape coming from the White House. President Bush being presented with the bullhorn he used at ground zero on September 14 to address the rescue workers, a day that a lot of people believed transformed not just this country, but the Bush presidency as well.

Also, just one other quick point, the president answering some questions. Among those, is he satisfied with the reaction of the Pakistani government in the hunt for the killers of "Wall Street" reporter Daniel Pearl. The president says, yes he is, and he believes all is being done to find the men who killed "The Wall Street Journal" reporter.

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