THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Chautauqua, New York) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release October 5, 1996
PRESS BRIEFING BY MIKE MCCURRY AND JOE LOCKHART
The Filing Center Chautauqua Institution Chautauqua, New York
11:22 A.M. EDT
MR. MCCURRY: Okay, what do you guys want? Debate scenes?
Q Why won't the President release a memorandum that he just talked at length about?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, he described for you the nature of the memorandum, which is exactly the way the White House Counsel described it to Chairman Zeliff, characterizing the purpose of the memo, which is to make an argument in internal deliberations of our government about how to structure our antiwar effort.
He did not release any of the information that is classified that is in that document which, obviously, is one reason that it couldn't be released. And he also didn't describe for you in detail the deliberative arguments that our government went through as a result of that memo and other memos and other arguments as the President made decisions relating to the structure of the Drug Office.
The whole question here goes to the constitutional deliberative process that the Executive Branch is entitled to, the confidentiality of that process and the constitutional protection of that process from infringement by the Legislative Branch. That's the nature of the argument. You're familiar with that argument because you've all read Jack Quinn's letter.
Q His suggestion out there clearly was that one thing that resulted from the letter was the appointment of the General --
MR. MCCURRY: We have said publicly, I think I've even briefed that one of -- I briefed to you here the other day that one of the results of the discussions that grew out of that memo and other memos was the executive order the President signed that established the new authorities for the Office Of Drug Control Policy and also one of the decisions, personnel decisions the President made, which is the appointment of General McCaffrey.
But that is the inherent process, inherent deliberative process that that Constitution is designed to protect. And that is, you know, the basic separation of powers argument that the Counsel, with the concurrence of the Attorney General, argued to the President when the President decided that the document is constitutionally protected.
Q Mike, what can you tell us about this testimony from Mary or Marie Anderson that says it was well-known that the people on the Secret Service lists that were being used to get FBI files were known to be former administration officials?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, I can't tell you anything about it. I know that we do have a statement available from Mr. Fabiani, and we've got copies of it either here or we can get them here. He was dealing with that down in Washington yesterday.
Q Mr. Fabiani's answer is basically that it's taxpayer-funded opposition research and doesn't --
MR. MCCURRY: Well, that's what was quoted saying -- the statement itself is longer than that. Some news accounts indicated that.
Q Does she still work at the White House?
MR. MCCURRY: No, she does not.
Q Was she a Clinton appointee?
MR. MCCURRY: I would have to check. I had seen her characterized in news accounts as a former Clinton-Gore campaign worker, so I assume so, but I don't know that for a fact.
Q Mike, what do you make of Starr speaking at Robertson's University, and then the press conference afterwards where he seemed to be promoting his case, saying that he's now in some important phase?
MR. MCCURRY: I haven't had an opportunity to look at his speech. I'm not familiar with his remarks.
Q Mike, what do you think of the propriety of him speaking there?
MR. MCCURRY: He has to make his own decisions about where he speaks.
Q Mike, is the President going to sign that CIA bill that Deutch is opposed to?
MR. MCCURRY: He's looking very carefully at that bill. We have supported the reorganization and restructuring of the intelligence agencies and we will look carefully at that bill to see if it's met some of the concerns the President set forth, if it fulfills some of the instructions that he has been giving on his own to the intelligence community to deal with the new challenges they face in the post-Cold War era.
Q Has he made up his mind whether or not to sign it?
MR. MCCURRY: He's going to look at it carefully and then we will make a decision on a range of bills. Remember, we've got now a very long list of things that the Congress completed action on in the last hours of the 104th Congress. And the President, after he returns to Washington next week, will be working through a lot of those issues and --
Q So it's wrong to report that he will sign it?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, we are supportive of reorganizing our intelligence structure, particularly as the intelligence community itself faces these new challenges of a new era. And we have said in the past publicly that we do want to see some new structures developed to take into account our need both to conserve resources, but also address some of the new threats and the new challenges we face in the world. This bill has gone a long way in that direction, but I don't want to preempt the President's review.
Q What's on his final debate training camp schedule?
MR. MCCURRY: Yes, let me -- I'll tell you a little bit about today and a little bit about last night for those of you who have got to write more -- not that there's much more to write.
He today will -- we, obviously, got a little bit of a late start today, but we had -- that's not of concern to anyone because the President made some headway last night. He will work during the day today, take a break this afternoon. He's undecided, he may just go back and rest at the hotel, he might go out and play golf. If he goes out and play, he'll probably only play nine holes. We will not have a protective pool today for the golf.
Q Is there a reason why you would not?
MR. MCCURRY: Yes.
MR. MCCURRY: Because we did it yesterday and we're trying to give you guys a break.
MR. MCCURRY: You got the picture, if you need the picture.
Q It was a photo op --
MR. MCCURRY: Tonight the First Lady will arrive and the President looks forward to having dinner with her. Then he will do another formal run-through of the debate, about the same time we did last night, around 9:00 p.m.
Let me give you just one --
Q -- is she going --
MR. MCCURRY: Yes, she plans to come by, see how he's doing, cheer him on.
Q Does he have a cold?
MR. MCCURRY: Not to my knowledge.
Q What were you just going to try to tell us?
MR. MCCURRY: Yes, let me just give you one scene from last night so you can spruce up your stories a bit. He has been wrestling with the question of how do you take his exuberance for his view of the 21st century and crystalize that in 90-second doses. And it's hard to do that. It's hard, I think, for him because you're familiar with the argument he makes when he's talking to voters -- it's hard for him to get that down to specific formulations.
So he's having a little bit of frustration last night in getting his argument the way he wanted to get it and you could tell as you watched him. And Senator Mitchell has been doing very, very well in these debates and I think the President was getting somewhat frustrated by that.
So at the recommendation of a couple of the people who are watching and reviewing the process, we invented a little technical glitch in the process last night, in the run-through, and recreated that great scene in 1976 when the mikes went dead and Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford sat there, stiff as boards, looking at each other. Senator Mitchell played his role of Jimmy Carter very effectively, because he just sat there, and the President was just -- obviously, was frustrated and irritated with the whole thing and then just started to laugh a little bit.
And then we took a very brief break and a couple of people talked through some of the challenges of really thinking about how you present yourself when you're in that format. And that seemed to kind of open things up a bit for the President. From then on, he began to really get a little more rhythm and we finished a full 90-minute run-through and stopped and talked about it a little bit, and then he actually did some more questions. He wanted to try some other things out, so we worked for about another 20, 30 minutes after that until just about -- what time, Doug, about 11:30 p.m.? Just about midnight? Midnight.
Q Was there an actual problem or did you create it?
MR. MCCURRY: No, we just pretended, we just created one.
Q Are you taping this and going back and looking at it?
Q -- to anticipate the possibility of that occurring?
MR. MCCURRY: No, it was basically just to give a break and let the President kind of reorient a little bit.
Q Was it your idea, Mike, to do that?
MR. MCCURRY: No, no, that was the recommendation from our ample cast of advisors.
Q Are you taping these, and is he watching the tape played back?
MR. MCCURRY: Yes, we do standard things -- we do all of the standard rituals that go into debate prep.
Q Does he watch those tapes?
MR. MCCURRY: Sometimes.
Okay, that's about all we've got --
Q Does the President have any interest at all in what this Miss Anderson said, or does he think that Livingstone's job was taken care of --
MR. MCCURRY: I haven't asked -- had a chance to talk to him about that.
Q So what's on the debate schedule today? More of the same?
MR. MCCURRY: Yes, we'll do more of the same, kind of working through the Q&A format, and we again tonight will do another run-through, full run-through.
Q Dress rehearsal as it were? What time is he going to Connecticut tomorrow, do you know?
MR. MCCURRY: He said to me this morning that he probably will sleep in a little bit tomorrow. He may or may not go to church. We're not certain of that yet. And then we'll move on up to Hartford. Our departure right now is unsettled, unscheduled.
Q Well, once he wraps up debate training tonight that's pretty much it? He doesn't have any more sessions tomorrow there?
MR. MCCURRY: Pretty much it.
Q Are we going to do anything in Hartford before the debate, any kind of rally?
MR. MCCURRY: I don't think so. The only thing that I know of he'll do is just to go and take a look at the hall.
Q Out here on the green, the President said he expected some surprises. Can you elaborate a little more on that?
MR. MCCURRY: No, he's expected there will be news coverage from the Dole campaign, which has been very interesting, I guess, and talking a lot very liberally about what they're going to do on Sunday night. But Mr. Reed from their campaign has suggested they're set with a big surprise. So the President obviously expects a surprise because they've said that's what's coming.
Q So you're liberal talkers, is that --
MR. MCCURRY: I figure that was a nice way of phrasing it. (Laughter.)
Q So it's your anticipation that the pool today, there won't be any more pool?
MR. MCCURRY: Yes, that's it for us for the day. He'll just be doing the same thing he did yesterday.
Now, for your entertainment and amusement, Mr. Lockhart is here to show a new ad that the campaign has and to talk about it and to put it in its geostrategic significance.
Q Is this the one that was released yesterday?
MR. LOCKHART: Yes.
(The video is shown.)
Q Where was that speech from? Do you know where that speech came from?
MR. LOCKHART: Just a couple of details on it. That actually was a speech to the DLC that was running all the way through. That ad started Friday, is running around the country through Sunday, and then for the next week or so in selected markets around the country, not as widely distributed. It's the first 60-second ad we've done and it's generally -- we're using it in the run-up to the debates to sort of set some of the issues that he hopes to touch on during the debate. We may -- it may stay up in more places over the next couple of weeks, but through Sunday it's around the country.
Q -- cost to buy --
MR. LOCKHART: We don't generally get into what we're spending where.
Q Can you compare the African American ad that you put up by where that's running as opposed to where --
MR. LOCKHART: The urban-oriented ad, it's just running on a couple of networks. It's on UPN, one other network, but it's a much smaller buy, much more targeted.
Q Do you have a copy of that one, too?
MR. LOCKHART: I don't have a copy. We have the transcript, but I don't have an actual copy of the ad.
Q Is that an Ailes work?
MR. LOCKHART: Squier. That would be news.
Q Yeah, that would by news. (Laughter.)
MR. LOCKHART: Who told you that?
Anything else? Thank you.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END 11:35 A.M.EDT