THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (College Station, Texas) _______________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release November 6, 1997
PRESS BRIEFING BY MIKE MCCURRY
George Bush Presidential Library Texas A&M Univeristy College Station, Texas
10:40 A.M. CST
MR. MCCURRY: Good morning. You guys, anybody have anything they need? Mr. Broder.
Q Just a quick question. President Clinton sounded a little more optimistic than he has all week on fast track. Does he know something that we don't know yet?
MR. MCCURRY: No. He knows that he's been working hard and we are making progress towards the number that we need, but we're not there yet. I think the President is most likely encouraged by some of the progress he has been making in the calls and the visits that he's been having.
Q What's the plan for when he gets back? Is he going to have lawmakers over to the White House tonight, or
MR. MCCURRY: Most likely he will have some guests at the White House and also work the phones, both on the way back and later this evening.
Q How many people do you anticipate him talking to today?
MR. MCCURRY: In the neighborhood of a half-dozen, although the list may grow during the day.
Q Mike, is there any comment on the Bill Lee nomination? Is the President monitoring it, keeping track of it from here?
MR. MCCURRY: The President is keeping close track of the nomination and the vote in the committee. The President fails to understand why a nominee that was so warmly received during a confirmation hearing who attracted so many favorable comments, has suddenly run afoul of what appears to be an effort by the hard right to block his nomination. The President is distressed by that, but we are continuing to work on the Hill to see if we can dislodge the nomination from committee.
Q What can the President do to dislodge the nomination?
MR. MCCURRY: We can only use the power of persuasion and put forward the strength of the nominee, and his personal qualifications and the record that he established in a career of respect for civil rights laws and efforts to fairly and adequately enforce them.
Anything else? Okay, have a good day. Gene-o, how has it been down here? Why don't you give us a briefing on what you've been up to?
Q Nice library.
MR. MCCURRY: I would recommend everyone take a tour of the library. In fact, I talked to some of President Bush's folks, and during that luncheon while you've got file time after we leave -- obviously we have to clear out of here early, but I guess you'll stay around -- they are going to try to make some arrangements if any of you want to go over and tour the library. It's well worth doing because it's very personal and very interactive, as well as reflecting on President Bush's career.
Q Have you got any better feel on tomorrow?
MR. MCCURRY: No. You mean schedule?
Q Yes. You said on the plane that there might be a fast track event.
MR. MCCURRY: We may do something, but I don't have a better feel for that. I'll have to leave that in Lockhart's hands to keep track of for you.
Q Mike, you trust him with something like that?
MR. MCCURRY: Absolutely.
Q Has he been to the museum yet, or is he just going through it now?
MR. MCCURRY: He is actually going through it, and they stopped and paused and met with the pool very briefly. President Bush very graciously interjected some comments on fast track when the pool failed you by not asking the question. And he also made some comments about Iraq and other subjects.
Q Did Clinton pick up any tips for his museum?
MR. MCCURRY: He was walking around, taking --
Q He was asked that question.
MR. MCCURRY: I think you did ask him that. They really liked it and they did do it, and President Bush suggested that he hoped that the Clintons had the opportunity to kind of look around and get some ideas on how they might want to do it.
Q He made that joke about having less land and having to build it like a highrise. I thought they were still looking at several sites; have they settled on one?
MR. MCCURRY: To my knowledge, the foundation that's working down in Little Rock has not selected either of those two sites, and there were apparently some additional sites they were looking at, as well. I don't know they've made any decision about that.
All right. Very good. We'll see you all back in Washington.
END 10:45 A.M. CST