The press corps needled Little Scottie just a tad over the Chimpster’s trip up north today.
Q Scott, there was a — the recent poll in Canada that said about two-thirds of Canadians say their opinion of America has declined over the past four years under the Bush administration. Why do you think that is? Why do you think Canadians dislike President Bush, dislike the President’s —
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I don’t necessarily agree. I mean, that was just one poll and I’m not sure that —
Q Well, there was something like —
MR. McCLELLAN: Like I said, we have a lot of shared challenges that we face, Canada and America, and the President will be talking directly to the Canadian people tomorrow in Halifax. And he’ll be talking about some of those shared priorities that we face and the importance of working together to address those priorities, and how he’s committed to continuing to strengthen our relations with Canada. There are a lot of ways that we can work together to address the challenges that we face in this 21st century, and this visit is an opportunity to build upon what is a good working relationship.
Q Why isn’t the President addressing the Parliament? He was invited to do so by the Canadians, and they’ve said that the White House declined that invitation.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the President is going to be speaking directly to the Canadian people tomorrow, from Halifax. I pointed out the significance of Pier 21, where the President will be speaking from tomorrow, yesterday in the briefing. And these are always — in terms of the details of the trip, these are always matters that we discuss with the host government, and the President looks forward to going to Halifax tomorrow and speaking directly to the Canadian people.
Q Was the U.S. worried about being heckled in Parliament?
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I mean, these are issues that are discussed with the host government, in terms of the schedule, the President’s schedule. And I think everybody agreed it would be a great opportunity to speak directly to the Canadian people from Halifax.
Maybe he’s not afraid of being heckled, maybe he’s afraid that they might throw him in jail.