THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT IN PHOTO OPPORTUNITY WITH PRESIDENT HOSNI MUBARAK
The Oval Office
9:45 A.M. EDT
Q President Mubarak, did you give the United States a specific warning about the World Trade Center bombing?
PRESIDENT MUBARAK: Let me tackle this problem whenever -- in the press conference, if you don't mind.
Q Mr. President, do you think you'll get your stimulus package intact after the recess?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, let me say this: We're going to give the Senate a chance to prove that the stated objections to some of the programs were their real objections. I mean, this is a -- the American people, I'm sure, are disappointed to find that a program that would put a half-million people to work and that has the support of a majority of the United States Senate cannot be brought to a vote in the Senate, because democracy and the majority rule is being undermined.
The whole purpose of the Senate's debating rules is to allow all amendments to be offered. We've had amendment after amendment after amendment after amendment, and the Republican minority is just trying to keep it from being voted on. So we're going to give them a chance to see if they were serious about their specific concerns and if they really want to put the American people back to work or not. This is a big issue and we'll just see what happens.
Q You are going to have to compromise, though, aren't you?
Q frustrated about the delay?
THE PRESIDENT: Of course. I think that we ought to be -- I can't imagine how they could be satisfied with the condition of this economy. I can't imagine how they could be satisfied with it. They were here, many of them, while we increased the national debt by four times, while we exploded the deficit, we drove down employment and drove up unemployment. And I've given them a plan to bring down the deficit and increase employment, put people back to work, and I think they ought to be for it. And we'll see if they will be.
Q How much are you willing to cut --
THE PRESIDENT: As soon as the thing is over -- when they come back, we'll see whether they really care about putting people to work or whether this is all just political posturing to prove that a minority can paralyze the federal government. It's just more gridlock, and I think the people will rebel against it.
You can count how many people they're going to keep out of work. You will know job by job how many they'll be responsible for not putting to work. We'll see.
Q You sound pretty passionate on the subject.
THE PRESIDENT: What did you say about Milosevic?
Q How do you feel -- by his message?
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, that's just a -- that is sort of like -- that was like the Iraqi charm offensive. He's just trying to head off tougher sanctions if the Vance-Owen plan is not embraced.
Q Is it going to work?
THE PRESIDENT: No, it won't. Of course, not.
Q Do you think he's getting the wrong message, though, sir? I mean --
THE PRESIDENT: It's pure politics. He's trying to head off tougher sanctions in the U.N. if the Serbs don't sign off on Vance-Owen. That's all that's going on there. And it won't work.
Q Don't you think he's sending a message saying it's actually -- this is great, you're not going to hound us?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we are going -- we're going to press for tougher sanctions. We'll see.
Q You don't want any compliments from him, huh?
Q are you rethinking the arms embargo?
THE PRESIDENT: I'm always rethinking that. There's never been a day when I haven't rethought that. But I can't do that by myself.
Q How about your first impression, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT: Very good. I'm glad to see President Mubarak. He and I have talked on the phone and worked on some things together, but this is our first personal meeting. And we'll have a press conference in a few minutes -- in a couple of hours, I guess; we'll answer your questions.
END9:55 A.M. EDT