Damn White House, finally posted Monday’s transcript today.
For starters, you can tell by the questions that Little Scottie ain’t sayin’ whether or not Powell was pushed out… which means Powell was pushed out.
Q Did President Bush try to persuade Secretary Powell to stay?
Q Did Powell offer to stay on for a while?
Q But there was some suggestion that the Secretary of State did offer to stay on for a while in a second term, and that his offer was declined.
Q Did he offer to stay on at all? Did he offer to stay on, and was he turned down?
Q He had been saying that he wanted to stay on.
Q Obviously, he didn’t ask him to stay on —
Next…. well fellow gaggle obsessors, I’m stunned. Nearly speachless. Les Kinsolving asked the hardest-hitting question in today’s gaggle. In fact, Les’ question was one of the best balls-to-the-wall question I’ve seen in all my years of gaggle obsessing.
Les tried to pin Scottie down on the question of whether the preznit wanted to overturn Roe v. Wade, a question Bush’s handlers have steadily avoided throughout his political career.
Yes, Les Kinsolving. This Les Kinsolving.
Q Judie Brown, the President of the American Life League, stated on November the 4th, “The President needs to learn that all abortions are bad, not just partial birth abortions. He could learn there is no reason to excuse abortions in alleged cases of rape, incest, threat to the mother’s life or fetal deformity.”
MR. McCLELLAN: Do you have a question?
Q My question: Does the President agree with this extraordinary statement, and ever having supported the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and if so —
MR. McCLELLAN: Les, no matter where you stand on the issue of abortion, the President believes that we can all work together to take practical steps to reduce abortion in America. And that’s why he’s worked to pass a ban on partial-birth abortions. That’s why he’s —
Q But not on over — he does not want to —
MR. McCLELLAN: May I finish, please?
Q — overturn Roe v. Wade, does he?
MR. McCLELLAN: That’s why he’s worked to streamline the adoption process, and that’s why he supports parental notification laws. So there are a number of practical steps that we can take to reduce the number of abortions, and that’s what the President is focused on doing.
Q But my question was, has he ever urged or supported the overturning of Roe v. Wade?
MR. McCLELLAN: He’s commented on that previously, and he’s talked about that, and he’s talked about what we can do now to work together to reduce the number of abortions in America. But he’s made his position very well-known on that, as well.
Q Does he want it overturned?
MR. McCLELLAN: He’s made his position very well-known about —
Q Why don’t you answer the question? It’s very valid.
MR. McCLELLAN: He’s made his position known.
Q What is the position?
MR. McCLELLAN: Currently, there’s not enough support in Congress to —
Q Okay, so he’s not.
MR. McCLELLAN: — get it done at this point, has been the President’s view, but that we should work toward that goal. And in the meantime — because he supports — in the meantime, we can work to reduce the number of abortions through a number of practical steps, of which he has pursued.
Too bad nobody followed up by mentioning that abortions have increased under Bush, but perhaps I ask for too much.