Today’s menu begins with Scottie Flambe du AWOL:
Q Scott, in the past, the President and you, when asked about — questions about his National Guard service, have said that people should not be so quick to denigrate service in the National Guard. Does the President see a distinction between what he was called on to do in the ’70s and what people who serve in the Guard today have to do?
Q Scott, if I read it right, all the President says in his speech about his service is that he’s proud of it. He doesn’t answer a lot of the questions that have been raised by the same reporters that you’re looking to look into the documents, such as, why did he not take the physical, why did he — was there any reasons that he left the Guard other than his own volition. Are you going to answer those questions?
MR. McCLELLAN: Why he has not addressed it, is that what you’re saying?
Q Well, yes, any reason —
MR. McCLELLAN: I think, as you see in the article today — there’s an article today in USA Today — most of those in the National Guard, like most Americans, want the candidates to focus on the future. [snip] — not what happened 35 years ago.
Q I’m asking you what happened 35 years ago. Is there any reason why you can’t tell me —
MR. McCLELLAN: I think it’s all been — I think it all has been addressed, Ron. The President met his obligations and was honorably discharged from the Guard. And it’s supported by the facts. It’s — this is more of the same old, recycled attacks by the Kerry campaign and Democrats. And that’s — they can’t defend his out-of-the-mainstream record, they can’t defend his lack of a vision for the country going forward.
Q Did he receive preferential treatment in the National Guard?
MR. McCLELLAN: That’s already been addressed, and that’s more of the same, recycled attacks from the Democrats that they keep asking. And he’s already addressed that matter, every single campaign he’s been in. It’s been asked and answered numerous times.
Q So the answer to my question is, he’s not going to answer those specific questions, because the public is more concerned about the future than the past.
MR. McCLELLAN: What specific questions? They’ve been answered, Ron.
Q Why did the President not take a physical?
MR. McCLELLAN: It’s been answered in reports, as has been answered before. He was going to Alabama to perform equivalent duty in a non-flying status. And he talked to his commanders every step of the way, and received permission to do so.
Q Why did he not take the physical?
MR. McCLELLAN: Because he was going to Alabama and he was not going to be in a flying — he was serving in a non-flying status in Alabama.
Q Was he excused —
MR. McCLELLAN: Asked and answered every campaign.
Q Did he leave the Guard on his own volition, or was there other reasons for him to leave?
MR. McCLELLAN: He met his obligations, and he was honorably discharged. So I think you should look at the facts, and the facts are clear, versus old, recycled attacks from the Democrats. This race — there are too many critical issues facing this nation for us to continue to engage in these old, recycled attacks. That’s what the Democrats want, because they can’t win on the issues, they can’t win on a discussion of the future.
And ends with a delicate Medicare lie soufle
Q In terms of Medicare, there was a report today out saying that — released by Representative Stark, I believe, that said that Social Security pensions will be eaten up by as much as 50 percent by 2021 by Medicare costs. Is there a — and that the administration lied about it.
Q Why did the administration alter the form of the report so that the table that was referred to wasn’t in it?