After a week-long absence it’s hard to come back to the gaggle particularly since Athenae did such a great job with it while I was away. Oh well, I suppose one plays to type.
In today’s gaggle Little Scottie forgets that George Voinovich sports an R after his name.
Q So Senate confirmation really makes no difference in how he carries out his job?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think it’s clear to everybody that he had the majority support of the United States Senate. But, unfortunately, a handful of Senate Democrats were intent on using partisan tactics to delay the nomination from receiving an up or down vote on the floor of the Senate.
Q How do you square that, Scott, with the opposition from folks like George Voinovich?
MR. McCLELLAN: Let me keep going on the first row, and then I’ll come back to you, Carl.
Now watch Scottie dance around the Big A.
Q Thank you. Would it be the President’s preference, if he could, to overturn Roe versus Wade? And, also, does he think that embryonic stem cell research should be made illegal?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think that — two things. One, on the issue of abortion, the President has made it very clear that there are ways — common sense, practical ways that we can work together to reduce the number of abortions in America. And he has worked to do that, if you look at what we have done, by placing a ban on partial birth abortion, by supporting efforts to increase adoption. The President is strongly committed to finding ways we can work together to reduce the number of abortions in America. He is someone who is pro-life.
Now, in terms of the question you bring up, I think this is trying to bring it up in the context of does the President have a litmus test for the Supreme Court — no, he does not. And the President has made that very clear. He is not the one who has a litmus test. He believes that a judge ought to interpret our Constitution and our laws and not try to legislate from the bench. A judge is someone who ought to look at the facts and look at the law and look at our Constitution and apply the law. And that’s what the President has consistently said.
Finally, in your Daily Les brings we find another patented eccentric-yet-tough question pisses Scottie off.
Q Scott, a two-part. In his 18-minute speech to the Boy Scout National Jamboree last night, the President said not one word about Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s Support Our Scouts Act of 2005. And my first question: What if Senator Frist decides to say not one word in support of President Bush’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think that he has said a lot of words about the President’s nominee to the United States Supreme Court. And we appreciate — and we appreciate his commitment to move forward on a floor vote as soon as the Judiciary Committee votes on his nomination.
Q But why didn’t he say anything —
MR. McCLELLAN: In terms of the Boy Scouts, the President has always been a strong supporter of the Boy Scouts of America, and he was pleased to go to their Jamboree last night in Virginia.
Q Today — wait a minute.
MR. McCLELLAN: No, I’ve got to keep going. Go ahead.
Q Wait a minute, just two.
MR. McCLELLAN: I’ve got some interviews I’ve got to get to.
Q Today 19 members of Congress —
MR. McCLELLAN: Les, one question today. Sorry, go ahead.