CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
President Bush Delivers Remarks at the World Pork Expo
Aired June 7, 2002 - 13:22 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.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Now we want to go now to Des Moines, Iowa. Another live event we're watching right now. President Bush there, just beginning his remarks there.
Let's listen in.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... make sure we do everything we can to secure the homeland. And Tom, I convinced him to leave the governor's -- the statehouse of Pennsylvania to join me in Washington, and he's done a really good job, really good job.
I want to thank some of my friends who flew down from Washington with me. I don't know if they wanted a free ride or not, but they came.
You know how Senator Grassley is.
Congressmen Ganske, Leach and Latham also came down with me, and I was honored to travel with them. I appreciate their friendship.
We spent a lot of time talking about the farm. Anytime you're around people from Iowa -- at least the congressional delegation -- they're always talking about the farm. And that's good.
I want to thank...
I'm told Senator Harkin is here.
Thank you for coming, Senator. Appreciate your being here.
Congressman Leonard Boswell is here.
Thank you for coming, Congressman. I'm honored you're here.
The lieutenant governor, Sally Pederson, is here.
Governor, thank you for being here. I'm honored you came.
I got one regret: The traveling team wasn't complete, unfortunately. My wife didn't come with me.
Yes, I agree with you.
You know, I'm really proud of her. The country has gotten to know Laura, like I've gotten to know her. People now understand why I asked her to marry me. A lot of people still confused as to why she said yes.
But she's been a great comfort to our nation and a great love of my life.
I remember campaigning in Chicago. And one of the reporters said, "Would you ever deficit spend?" I said, "Only in times of war, in times of economic insecurity as a result of a recession, or in times of national emergency." Never did I dream we'd have a trifecta.
But I want you to know we are dealing with these issues in a way that I hope makes you proud; that we're dealing with the issues...
I'm doing everything I can to put the interests of the American people ahead of politics. I'm doing everything I can...
...everything I can to address these issues in a way that solves problems. So, for example, on the issue of economic security, I went at this in a way -- the only way I knew how, which is in a straightforward, plain-spoken way.
I said the best way to make sure we got a strong farm economy and to make sure our economy recovers from the recession is to let people keep your own money.
I believe that when you let a person keep his or her own money, they're going to spend it. And when they spend it, it increases demands for goods and services. And with an increase of demand for goods and services, somebody has got to produce that good and service. And when they produce it, it means somebody's going to find work.
It was one year ago today I had the honor of signing the tax relief bill that Chairman Chuck Grassley -- then-Chairman Grassley shepherded -- helped shepherd through the United States Senate. It was the right public policy at the right time for the United States of America.
And today I'm told that there's some statistics coming out that shows that the unemployment rate in America is dropping. People are getting back to work.
My attitude is, I don't pay attention to the numbers, however. If a person's looking for work and can't find work, I'm worried about it. And so long as there are people looking for work who can't find work, we're going to continue doing the right thing in Washington to stimulate job creation.
Now, part of that tax relief package was something really important for the future of the country and for the future of your families. Finally, the United States Congress realized how unfair the death tax is to the people who make a living on the farm. And finally, we repealed the death tax.
But because of a quirk in the law, that repeal isn't permanent.
It's hard for me to explain why they repealed it but didn't repeal it.
And so what I want you to do is work with members of the United States Senate so that they do what they did in the House, which is to make the repeal of the death tax permanent.
It makes no sense to tax a person's assets twice, and it makes no sense to have a tax that drives people off the farm. For the good of American agriculture, let's make sure that death tax is forever buried and forever done away with. (APPLAUSE)
For the good of the economy and for economic security, they need to give me an energy bill: an energy bill that encourages conservation, an energy bill that encourages reasonable, environmentally sound exploration, and an energy bill that promotes renewable sources of energy such as ethanol and bio-diesel.
When I first came to Iowa to ask for the support of the people here, and I talked about ethanol, people's eyes tended to glaze over at times, because they said, "Well, this guy's from Texas. He can't possibly mean what he says about ethanol."
First, I hope I've proved them wrong. And secondly, you've got to understand, it's in our nation's national interest, it is in our national interest to have more forms of energy produced at home so we're less reliant upon foreign sources of energy.
In order to make sure this economy is strong, we've got to make sure that the agricultural sector of our economy is strong. See, I understand that. I was from a -- the governor of the second-largest agricultural state in the union. I understand farm economics. I understand the need to have a hopeful economy. And I understand the need to be able to grow more food than we need for the national security of the country, as well.
But I also understand when there's oversupply, it's a problem. And one of the ways to deal with oversupply is to sell Iowa pork in foreign markets.
I need the trade promotion authority.
It is time to quit playing politics with trade promotion. It's time for the House and the Senate to get together and get that bill on my desk.
And my promise to you all is this: We're not going to treat agriculture as some second-class citizen when it comes to international trade agreements. I understand the importance of agriculture for our economy. I understand the importance of agriculture for job creation. And I understand the need to fight for foreign markets, so that what we're good at something, we benefit. And we're good at growing hogs, and we ought to be selling our hogs all across the world.
And the farm bill I signed recognizes the importance of trade. You put it in a fancy Washington talk it's what we called WTO compliant. It means we've honored our trade agreements when it comes to agriculture.
But it also recognizes there needs to be a safety net for the American farmer. And it also recognizes the need to promote conservation in America through the Equip Program, for example.
I signed a good farm bill. It's good for the American farmer, and it's good for the United States of America.
And finally to work on the economic security of this country, we need terrorism insurance. There's a lot of construction programs, of projects that aren't going forward, because people can't get the right kind of insurance for fear of a terrorist attack.
And Congress has got to act. For the good of the working people, for the good of people who are building skyscrapers and construction projects all across America, the United States Congress needs to get to my desk a bill to make sure we've got terrorism insurance all across the United States of America. If we're interested in economic security, this is a good step in that right direction. This is a step in a direction that will help people find work, when it comes to building plants and equipment.
The economy's getting better, but I'm not going to rest until everybody can find work.
The other big challenge we have is to make sure our homeland is secure. As I've mentioned last night, when I get into the Oval Office every morning, I read what they call a threat assessment.
By the way, I do have a ritual. Every morning, I still get Laura the coffee. I hate to put the pressure on you guys, but...
...there I was this morning. I'm, kind of, on a farmer's schedule. We're up early, in comes the coffee. I don't spend a lot of time on the editorial pages, I want you to know.
And then I walk the dogs. And it's a moment of high drama for the dogs. They're looking forward to getting out of the confines of the White House. Spot the dog's pretty comfortable there. After all, she was born when my dad was the president. Born right there at the White House. And so she, second time around, understands where the -- where the hedges are.
And Barney, he's a one-and-a-half-year-old Scottish terrier. He's a feisty little guy. He doesn't spend a lot of time in the Oval Office. After all, we've got a new rug in there. (LAUGHTER)
So off goes Barney in one direction, and Spot and I go in the Oval Office, and I settle in to read this threat assessment. And it reminds me on a daily basis that my most important job is to protect America from attack.
We're constantly asking inside the White House, "What can we do? What do we need to do to protect innocent Americans?"
And the reason we're having to do that is because we face a formidable enemy, an enemy which hates America because we stand for freedom. The problem is, they're going to be on the losing side, because we're more formidable because we love freedom.
I don't know what went through their mind when they attacked us. They must have thought we were so materialistic and so weak and so self-absorbed that all we would do is file a couple of lawsuits. And they found out we're a little different from that.
And the first thing we've got to do is to make sure we do everything at home to protect the people. And that's why last night on national TV I proposed the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, a new Cabinet-level position that will consolidate the essential functions of securing our homeland into one agency.
See, there's now over 100 different entities, agencies that deal with the homeland, which makes it, kind of, hard to hold anybody accountable. I believe in accountability in government. After all, you will hold me accountable. And therefore, I want...
And therefore, it's important to combine (ph) authority and responsibility to create accountability.
Last night I used a couple of examples. You know, I said that the Coast Guard, obviously, job is to patrol the coast, but they report to the Transportation Department. And the Transportation Department's primary function is not the security of the country. The Customs reports to the head of the Treasury. The main job of the Treasury is not the security of the country.
It's time for us to consolidate, not to increase the size of government, but to increase the efficiency of your government, so we can do the job you expect us to do.
This is going to be a tough battle, because we're going to be stepping on some people's toes. I understand that. You see, when you take power away from one person in Washington it tends to make them nervous. And so we're just going to have to keep the pressure on the people in the United States Congress to do the right thing.
I believe it is going to happen.
This morning we had a group of senators and House members from both party -- Joe Lieberman was there, Arlen Specter was there -- talking about how to get this bill started in Congress and through Congress as quickly as possible. And so I'm confident it's going to happen, particularly when the American people understand it is in our national interest that we bring these agencies under one head so that we can do everything in our power, and I mean everything in our power, to keep you all safe.
But the best way to keep you safe, the best way to protect the homeland is to chase the killers down one by one and bring them to justice, and that's what we're going to do.
I see some youngsters out there. I want you to understand that the goal of this country is to have peace. The goal of the United States is to remain strong and tough so that you can grow up in a peaceful world. That's my hope.
And it's not just you growing up in a peaceful world, it is children all around the world growing up in a peaceful world.
But so long as there are people out there that want to harm us because of that vision, because we love freedom, because we worship freely, because we're free to speak our mind, the United States of America has an obligation to lead. The United States of American has an obligation to lead a coalition to bring people to justice. And so long as I'm the president of the United States, that is precisely what this great nation is going to do.
This is a new kind of war. We're not used to this kind of war in America. First of all, we weren't used to the fact anybody could come into our country and kill thousands of innocent people. We've got to get used to the fact that they want to come again. So we have to used to it.
We also got to used to the fact that we're fighting an enemy that's willing to send youngsters to their suicide -- to the death by suicide, and they themselves hide in a cave.
And so it's going to require this country to be determined, and strong, and patient, and that's exactly -- that's exactly how the country feels. And for that I'm grateful, and for that the enemy is noticed.
You see the world looks at us right now. They're saying, "Well, this great bastion of freedom, how are we going to react? As time goes between September 11 and now, what's going to happen to the United States? How strong are they? How much are they willing to defend their country? What are they really like?" And that's why important for us to remain tough and strong. If we blink, the world's going to go to sleep, and I understand that. In order to defend freedom we've got to have the world by our side.
And that's what's going to happen, folks. That's just exactly what's going to happen. There is no cave dark enough and deep enough to prevent us from chasing down these killers.
And so one by one, this great and steady and strong United States of America is going to liberate the world from people who would destroy civilization as we know it.
It's the right course of action. History has called our nation into action. History has given us a chance. And it's a chance I intend to seize.
I firmly believe out of the evil done to the country will come some great good. I do. I believe that over time we can achieve peace in places where there's never been a hope for peace. I believe by being strong and diligent, by speaking out against right from wrong, by calling evil what it is, we can lead the world to a more peaceful tomorrow.
And I also know this about America: Out of the evil done to the country can come some incredible good right here in Iowa and all across the country.
People ask me all the time, "What can I do to help America? How can I participate in this war against terror?" Well, if you're really interested you can call up -- dial up USA Freedom Corps on the Internet to find out.
But you don't need to do that. If you're interested in fighting evil, do some good. If you're interested in fighting evil, love a neighbor just like you'd liked to be loved yourself.
Sometimes the acts of kindness are noticeable and sometimes they're not. Walking across the street to a shut-in saying, "I love you. What can I do to help you?" is part of loving your neighbor like you liked to be loved yourself. Mentoring a child is an incredibly important part of defining America for what we are, which is a country of goodness and decency.
Today, at the airport, I met a young lady named Annie Wignall (ph). She's the founder of Care (ph) Bags (ph) Foundation.
Young lady, where are you, Annie (ph)? Stand up.
Annie (ph) started this foundation on her own. She decided she's going to do something to make a difference in somebody's life. It collects and distributes clothes, toys and personal care items to children who are victims of abuse or neglect.
Annie (ph) is a soldier in the army of compassion.
Annie (ph) sets a good example for all of us. One person can't do everything, but one person can do something to make somebody's life better.
So my call to my fellow Americans is that, on the one hand, we're tough to keep the peace, but, on the other hand, I know we can rise to the challenge of showing the world that in the face of the incredible evil done to America can come some great good.
And it starts right with you. Every act of individual kindness and compassion, the gathering momentum of millions of acts of kindness and compassion will show the enemy and the world the true face of the greatest nation on the face of the Earth.
Thank you for letting me come by. God bless you.
HARRIS: President Bush there hinting pretty much on every theme that he has probably spoken on since last summer.
He hit the domestic issues, talked about taxes, specifically repealing the death tax permanently. He says he asked Congress to give an energy bill. They even brought up something new. He wants Congress to actually produce terrorism insurance for the country.
He also talked about homeland security, which is the novel idea that -- the new idea that he introduced last night to the nation in his speech. He also talked about, and you heard him mention in his speech, the meeting that he had this morning with congressional leaders where he went over this plan, where he is going to revamp the nation's -- the government, actually, the government structure right now, and consolidate all of the essential homeland security functions within one agency.
Here is some of what happened this morning in that meeting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: We've got a lot of work to do to get this department implemented. There's going be to be a lot of turf protection in the Congress, but I'm convinced that by working together that we can do what's right for America. And I believe we can get something done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: Let's check in now with our John King, our senior White House correspondent, who's traveling with President Bush today. Hello, John.
JOHN KING, SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hello to you, Leon. This a very different day than the White House initially envisioned when it scheduled the president to come here to the Iowa state fair grounds. This is the World Pork Expo. You heard the president make a joke about that. Some pig races right over there to my left, your right.
The president initially came here -- this is the one-year anniversary of him signing the big Bush tax cut, and this was to be a celebration of that, if you will, in a state that went very narrowly, by 4,000 votes last time, for Al Gore. It is a target of President Bush this time. But the speech changed, the itinerary changed, all because of what happened last night, the president's appeal to the nation and the Congress to create that new Department of Homeland Security.
Traveling with the president today, the homeland security director, Tom Ridge, the man many believe would be the president's choice to be the cabinet secretary, the secretary of homeland security, if the Congress goes along and creates that new department, and much like in that sound you just played from this morning's meeting at the White House in that speech we just showed, you heard the president talk about how this will be stepping on some toes back in Washington, stepping on toes in the government bureaucracy.
Many agencies, including nine cabinet departments, would lose power, lose personnel, lose billions of dollars under this plan, and in the Congress eighty-eight committees now have some jurisdiction over homeland security issues, so selling this plan will be difficult in a Washington that is very conscious of its turf and its power.
That's why the president, not only back in Washington this morning, but now out in the country, trying to make the case directly to the American people as he tries to get Congress to pass this with extraordinary speed. This is the largest reorganization of the federal government since just after World War II, and the president wants this new department up and running come January 1. So a tough sales pitch for the president -- Leon.
HARRIS: That's right. John King there in Iowa. Thank you very much, John. We are going to talk right now some more about what John mentioned here, the turf wars that are probably going to be spurred by this new idea that's been introduced to the country.
Let's check in now with our with our political analyst, Bill Schneider, who's standing by in Washington, because he knows quite a bit about that sort of thing. What do you make now that we've had a few hours to think of it now? What do you make of how these turf battles are going to be shaping up?
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, there are going to be a lot of them. I mean, you've got a hundred different agencies that are being moved, 88 congressional committees and sub- committees. The administration talks about it. They say it's going to be tough. But you know what? They'd rather see turf battles going on -- that is traditional Washington -- rather than a war between Congress and the White House, which is what was shaping up. Those congressional investigations were uncovering all kinds of revelations about what the CIA and the FBI knew or didn't know before September 11, and they were aiming their fire at the White House.
Now you've got government agencies aiming their fire at each other. That's a lot better for the White House.
HARRIS: Yes, I would imagine so. But really, and there seems to be enough goodwill there, and I don't think that anyone's really going to say that we don't need to have this kind of a cabinet, we don't need to have this kind of a structure, so how serious will these battle lines actually be? Will they really be that deep or that contentious?
SCHNEIDER: Well, it will have a lot do with power of individual personalities. You know, if the secretary of the treasury says "I am not going to stand by and see this and that jurisdiction taken away from me," then you could see some real fireworks.
But it will be mostly a process issue. I don't think most Americans really care that much about who has jurisdiction over what. The most important question out there, is the fact -- or issue out there -- is the fact that the homeland security department is not going to change anything about the CIA and the FBI, which are the two agencies at the center of this whole controversy.
They're the ones who seem to have been involved in a massive, a colossal failure of intelligence, yet very little is going to change about the way they operate. Their reports are going to be turned over to the Department of Homeland Security, but not the raw data, which is where a lot of those revelations were included and not noticed. So the big question is, what is going to happen to them? They're claiming they're going to reform their procedures, that that's the single most important thing.
HARRIS: You know, and you bring up that question, Bill, just as I was about to bring it up myself. We have a guest who is going to join us and talk more about that. Bill Schneider, thank you very much. Bill is being a bit prescient this afternoon.
Let's talk now to Robert Heibel. He's a former FBI deputy director of counterterrorism. And let's talk about these issues that you just heard Bill Schneider bring up. What do you make of the fact that there really is not really going to be any substantive change being made to the CIA or FBI in this plan introduced by President Bush?
ROBERT HEIBEL, RESEARCH INTELLIGENCE PGM., MERCYHURST COLLEGE: Well, one of the divisions that'll be created within the department is going to be the information analysis and infrastructure unit, and the way it is being described now, it is being described as really a clearinghouse for information from CIA, FBI and other intelligence agencies. That -- I agree with Bill, that this is going to have to be -- the FBI and CIA are going to have to increase their capability, which goes to the issue of increasing their analytical capability.
It is a tough issue because generating new analysts is not that easy.
HARRIS: That is a point I have been reading in remarks that you have made lately about that. And analysts and analysis are points that you have been hitting on quite hard and consistently. What do you mean by that and the kind of changes you are asking for in this regard?
HEIBEL: Well, when you talk about intelligence analysis, what you are talking about is something that's new knowledge, new actionable knowledge, Leon. And in law enforcement, there's a general sense that law enforcement leadership doesn't understand what intelligence can do for them, because they've never really seen good intelligence analyst products.
HARRIS: What do you mean by that?
HEIBEL: Well, I think...
HARRIS: That sounds interesting. I can't imagine that that has not happened.
HEIBEL: Well, you have different types -- what you have in law enforcement is you have -- law enforcement, we're great collectors, we're wonderful collectors. But the intelligence process is more than collection. The intelligence process is correlating that information, analyzing that information and then producing that analytical product that provides the leader with the ability to look at and say, "Now I understand the threat, now I see how to use my manpower, now I see how to use my resources."
And there are two types of analytical products. One is tactical. Law enforcement does a fairly good, decent tactical product. But strategic products in law enforcement are generally unknown, probably DEA is about the only agency that produces strategic products at this time.
HARRIS: And that is something you see as lacking in this new plan for homeland security?
HEIBEL: Yes. I think what we have got to do is we've got to create awareness among law enforcement leaders, the value of intelligence, then we have to bring up to par the analysts that we have on board. We would never send infantry troops into battle without making sure that they had basic infantry training. Advanced -- that they had been through maneuvers and so on. But we are doing that with analysts because our analysts do not have the training they need to do the job, in many cases, in law enforcement. And a third point look at the agencies you're -- the FBI is talking about bringing on 500 analysts.
The old FAA is hiring 200. We are talking about possibly hiring a thousand analysts. Where are they going to come from?
HARRIS: That's my question. Where do they come from?
HEIBEL: Where they need to come from is from academia. We need to build stronger programs, links to colleges and universities, and sell them on the idea of training people to be intelligence analysts. You would never hire a chemist or an accountant or an engineer without having them having some type of academic background, but we're doing it with intelligence analysts all the time.
HARRIS: That's a very interesting idea. Robert Heibel, this is the just the first of many discussions about this topic to come in the days and the months ahead. Thank you very much for sharing some time with us today.
HEIBEL: My pleasure.
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