THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Chicago, Illinois) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release August 29, 1996
BRIEFING BY MIKE MCCURRY
The Briefing Room Sheraton Hotel Chicago, Illinois
11:25 A.M. CDT
MR. MCCURRY: Good morning, everybody.
Q Mike, are the ground rules not for broadcast?
MR. MCCURRY: Yes, not for broadcast, for reasons that will be clear later on. I just thought I'd come and give you a report on how the President's speech is going -- (laughter) -- because I know you're all interested in excerpts on the speech and that kind of thing. Or did we manage to create a diversion?
Q Mike, is Dick Morris --
MR. MCCURRY: I know there are reports; I have no comment on those reports. I'll be in a better position to have some comments when I do my regular daily briefing approximately 1:00 p.m.
Q Has he been --
MR. MCCURRY: I have no comment. I'll be in a better position to comment when I do my regular daily briefing at around 1:00 p.m.
Q Has he been asked?
MR. MCCURRY: I have no comment. I'll be in a better position to comment --
Q Is he in town?
MR. MCCURRY: -- when I talk to you at 1:00 p.m.
Q What happens at 1:00 p.m.?
MR. MCCURRY: I'm going to brief. I just wanted to come and tell you I'm going to brief. Do you want to know about anything else. That's it on Morris, that's all I'm doing on Morris. What else do you want to know?
Q Will the 1:00 p.m. briefing be the briefing on the speech --
MR. MCCURRY: No. We'll do that later on in the afternoon. I'll do other issues that you -- the President slept in late this morning, just got up a short while ago. He's been working privately on his speech and he'll be in the hotel all day today working on the speech, probably getting in a position later this afternoon to do a little practice, although he's not there yet. And he'll be ready and rearing to go tonight.
Q Where will he practice?
MR. MCCURRY: He'll be here in the hotel.
Q Has he seen Dick Morris today?
MR. MCCURRY: I'm not going to get into that subject. I'll get into that subject at 1:00 p.m.
Q You're briefing at 1:00 p.m. on camera?
MR. MCCURRY: I'll consider doing that, yes.
Q Mike, is he going to check out the mikes in the United Center at all?
MR. MCCURRY: We'll check and see. He will go over -- he's very familiar with the convention setting. He's been there before several times so he knows how that all works. We don't think he really needs to go over there. If he wants to go over there so he gets a better sense of the hall and how the hall works he may go over there later. But right now I don't expect him to go over there. I think, in part, because he's going to be working here on his speech most of the day, and he may not -- I think it's time better spent working on his speech than going over there.
Q Does he have a final final draft?
MR. MCCURRY: He will be -- that speech will be done when he walks up to the podium. Will we be able to provide you at least those of you who have early deadlines some sense of the flavor of the speech and maybe a couple of quotes? I'll sure work hard to make that happen. But no guarantees.
Q Can you tell us what -- (inaudible.)
MR. MCCURRY: At 1:00 p.m. it will be pretty clear to you.
Q Could you tell us now if you --
MR. MCCURRY: Oh, look, you know.
Q Why can't you do it now?
MR. MCCURRY: Because there are a lot of people who are interested in this subject; not everybody is here. And I just prefer to do it at 1:00 p.m. That's my regular briefing time and my body clock works better on that rhythm.
Q Is the President --
MR. MCCURRY: The President, last night when I checked, had a double-digit lead in the polls and just came off the triumphant train tour through the midwest and he's feeling pretty good.
Q How long will the speech be tonight?
MR. MCCURRY: I'll know better later today. We've been in the neighborhood of an hour or so.
Q Mike, will he -- on welfare and homeownership --
MR. MCCURRY: Yes, on both.
Q -- when you brief so we can have --
MR. MCCURRY: Probably around about that time. We'll see, we may be able to make that available earlier.
Q (inaudible) --
MR. MCCURRY: He has not. That is not true. There's an allegation that someone has confirmed something, and that is not true.
MR. MCCURRY: Helen alleged that one of my colleagues had confirmed something, and that's not true.
Q Will you have an announcement to make at 1:00 p.m.
MR. MCCURRY: No, I will not.
Q It will be someone else who will be briefing here?
MR. MCCURRY: I'll talk to you all about that at 1:00 p.m.
Look, today, if you haven't noticed, he's been pretty busy the last three and a half, four days, so he's worked sporadically on this speech, but not really devoted his full attention to it. Today he's really had the opportunity to devote his full attention to the speech. That's what he intends to do. He intends to do that here in the hotel. He doesn't have any plans that I'm aware of to go out. He may go out to check out the hall, but I wouldn't count on that. I think he'll probably be in the hotel here working on the speech.
Q But he has had a reunion --
MR. MCCURRY: He had that reunion last night when he landed with the Mrs. and Chelsea, and then they went off to watch the convention. And he had a great time. He watched the convention last night with Vernon Jordan and Erskine Bowles, two longtime friends. Erskine of course -- they were with him in the suite. He mightily enjoyed the convention. It was his first real opportunity to sit and watch it because we've only been getting bits and snatches, so he had a great time. And you all saw him celebrate his nomination last night. Sum and total, he's a very happy President.
Q It must be a terrible blow to him.
MR. MCCURRY: What?
Q This Morris thing.
MR. MCCURRY: I'll comment on that later.
Okay. Thank you.
END 11:30 A.M. CDT