THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT TO CARTI KIDS FROM THE CENTRAL ARKANSAS RADIATION THERAPY INSTITUTE
The Rose Garden
4:05 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Hi, kids. Please sit down. I want to welcome you all to the Rose Garden and the White House, and thank you for coming. Let me say a special word of thanks to Congressman Thornton for being here with his constituents.
Senator Bradford, it's good to see you.
Ladies and gentlemen, it seems like just a couple of days ago when Hillary and I were sitting at Trio's Restaurant in Little Rock, talking with Robin Armstrong about how exciting it would be to have the CARTI Kids come to the White House. Well, I think maybe they thought we were kidding, but here we all are. (Laughter and applause.)
CARTI is the Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute. It's a not-for-profit, freestanding radiation therapy center which, in my home state, is synonymous with treatment of people with cancer. In its 17 years of service, more than 33,000 people have received treatment there.
Today I wanted to especially highlight these young people who are standing behind me. All of them have been fighting difficult battles with great courage and good humor. I'm proud that my wife and I have long been supporters of CARTI, and our administration was when I was a Governor. In 1977, I addressed the CARTI Auxiliary for the first time; and in 1979 in my first term as Governor, our state for the first time supported with state funds radiation therapy, something we continued to do throughout the course of my term as Governor.
In 1991, Hillary and I hosted a Celebration of Life Picnic at the Arkansas Governor's Mansion for more than 1,000 cancer survivors and their families.
I'm also proud to say that my mother has received treatment at CARTI and, based on the results, I'd say it's been very good treatment, indeed, and I'm very grateful to them.
I'd like now to ask Robin Armstrong to come up here, she's the Director of Volunteers at CARTI, to introduce you to her kids.
(Gifts are presented to the President.)
Q Mr. President, is the Senate version of campaign finance reform tough enough?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I haven't had a chance to review it entirely, but I think it is a great advance, and I'm elated that the bill is going on to the House. It reduces the influence of special interests; it lowers the costs of campaigns; it at least provides for some public funding to open the airwaves if one side in an election violates the campaign spending limits.
So I think there's some good things about it. And I'm hopeful that the House will take favorable action and then we can come back with one common bill that will pass both Houses. Yesterday was a great day for the American people in the Congress, and I was encouraged by that.
Q Mr. President, on the space station, sir, if it came to it, would you be prepared to fight for it and even seek cuts in some of your investment programs to save it?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I have a budget program that includes the space station. We've already cut $4 billion out of it, and I intend to support it. I think it's a very important part of our overall science and technology mission. And if my budget passes, the other investments will be there, too. And if they'll pass all the budget cuts that I've put out there, I think we'll be all right. After all, we've presented 100 budget cuts of more than $100 billion. That's a pretty good clip.
Q The House Speaker is already speaking against your PAC provision in campaign finance. How strong will you fight for that?
THE PRESIDENT: I'm going to fight for it hard; I believe in it.
END4:10 P.M. EDT