THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
(Charlotte, North Carolina)
PRESS BRIEFING BY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY MIKE MCCURRY
Charlotte Convention Center Charlotte, North Carolina
2:00 P.M. EDT
MR. MCCURRY: (In progress) -- Congress had some ideas and it is safe to assume that in some cases those reflect the influence of the industry, too. The industry is aware of where the President stands on the issue and they obviously they still have some ideas. We know their ideas and they know our ideas.
Q -- (inaudible) --
MR. MCCURRY: The issue is whether or not Congress might wish to try to take a legislative approach that would codify some of the concerns that the President has. That's one of the issues that's still in play.
Q -- Susan's original question about whether the President's announcement tomorrow --
MR. MCCURRY: I'm not going to announce here and now that the President will agree that the FDA should -- jurisdiction over nicotine.
Q The legislative approach, Mike, that would embody some of these regulatory options.
MR. MCCURRY: One suggestion that's been made by members of Congress.
Q: Last week the Wall Street Journal reported that the President was going to go --
MR. MCCURRY: News reports on this today lack the benefit of the full discussions that the President has had with his advisers on the issue, so most of them have been -- while some of them, they might be trending toward the accurate, they are not complete.
Q Could you characterize it in some way? It's fair to assume he's going to make it tougher for teenagers to get cigarettes?
MR. MCCURRY: I think it's fair to assume that he's going to take steps that would respond to exactly the concerns that he just expressed.
Q Why shouldn't we interpret, though, the changing kind of shift in news stories as the President backing off in the face of protests from Democratic politicians and others?
MR. MCCURRY: Because those are news accounts that are not fully informed. It's the danger of trying to write about something that's not fully decided.
Q What role, if any, will a voluntary program between the government and industry play in this --
MR. MCCURRY: Well, I'm not aware that there's been active discussion of that.
Q Does the -- compromise meet his definition of mandatory by just imposing the threat of --
MR. MCCURRY: Pretty clearly not.
Q Is it fair to say he's taking a regulatory approach?
MR. MCCURRY: I think most of the discussions have proceeded on what type of regulatory approach would be proper for the Food and Drug Administration to pursue.
Q -- tonight when he gets back?
MR. MCCURRY: There's been some discussions that Mr. Panetta and Mr. Ickes, Mr. Bowles have had that will be fed into the President.
Q Mike, one quick question on Bosnia. Are you aware of this report of a satellite or aerial photograph about a ditch that might be a mass grave outside of Srebrenica?
MR. MCCURRY: I'm not aware of that specifically. I think -- have we gotten a statement on Shattuck's trip yet? We're going to have a statement from the White House that talks about a trip taken just recently by Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights John Shattuck. We have various considerable concerns about human rights conditions in the wake of both the Croatian offensive in Western Bosnia and in the Krajina. We have also have concerns, ongoing concerns about reports of ethnic cleansing in the Eastern enclaves that are affecting Bosnian Muslims. It's all a part of the continuing tragedy of the Balkan conflict. And our diplomats in the region have been aggressively accumulating these reports so they can be properly submitted to the War Crime Tribunal.
Q So this specific report about a mass grave outside of Srebrenica?
MR. MCCURRY: I am not aware of anything. I know that there are reports of this, and I don't know what we have been able to confirm either through U.N. sources of elsewhere.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END 2:08 P.M. EDT