Today’s gaggle included many port sell-out questions, but this is one of the best in my mind. Because if Chimpy has already decided to go forward with the deal then this entire 45-day review thingy is nothing but a scam.
Q On the ports, under the 45-day review that you’re now going to start, the way the law is written, it’s up to the President to be the final arbiter of this, the committee then reports to him. Since the President has already expressed his views on this deal — and you’ve just reiterated those today — can he be a neutral judge on this issue? Should he recuse himself from this, since he’s already expressed his opinion, much the way a judge might —
MR. McCLELLAN: This is a congressionally mandated process; they put this law in place. And the company voluntarily asked for a 45-day investigation, so this is at the request of the company. And it will go to the committee —
Q You see my point, you’re in the odd position of the President has already declared his view on something he’s supposed to judge at the end of the investigative process.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, but it’s going to go through the Committee on Foreign Investment — because this is a new transaction that they are notifying the committee about. And the committee will review it, and at the request of the company, go through the investigation. That will involve additional people. And then, as you point out, I expect it ultimately would go to the President, as called for under the law. This is the way — the law has been in place for some time.
Q So he’s got to keep an open mind that maybe the committee will find something different than —
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, he stated his views. The views that he has previously stated remain the same. But we will see, as it goes through the Committee on Foreign Investment, where this goes.
Now watch Scottie’s toes curl as he is asked about Chimpy’s horrible poll numbers. Pony-up, biatch!
Q Scott, the President is heading off on his trip with some record low approval ratings. And I’m wondering, given the events of the last couple of weeks — the ports deal, and the outbreak of violence in Iraq, and the handling of the Vice President’s shooting — is there any thought to changing the way the administration is doing business?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, if you’re talking about with Congress, we will continue to work closely with Congress on our shared priorities. I think if you look at the record, we have been able to move forward and achieve a lot of important things for the American people. And we will continue to do that.
That’s where our focus is. Our focus is on the important priorities of the American people, and I think that’s where Congress’ focus is, as well.
And that’s what the President is going to continue to do. We’ll let others get into all the political analysis of those things.
Q Do you have any idea why the dip?
MR. McCLELLAN: I’m sorry?
Q Do you have any idea why the dip?
MR. McCLELLAN: We don’t get caught up in the weekly snapshots in time that you’re referring to. We are focused on getting things done for the American people, and we have a record of results.
So look at the record and look at the results, and look at the facts.
Finally, Double the Les, Double the Fun, I always say.
Q I understand. The state legislature of South Dakota has just passed a new law which allows abortion in case of threat to the mother’s life, but denies it to all ages in cases of rape and incest. My first question: Does the President believe that rape and incest victims should be denied the right to an abortion?
MR. McCLELLAN: The President believes we ought to be working to build a culture of life in America. And we have taken practical, common-sense steps to help reduce the number of abortions in America. It is a strong record that is based on building a culture of life, and the President has made very clear that he is pro-life with three exceptions.
Q The Washington Times notes this morning that as recently as last year, Hamas couriers were dispatched to the West Bank or Gaza with United Arab Emirate cash, while the Department of State’s country reports and human rights practices reports that the UAE does not allow any elections and restricts freedom of speech and the press. And my question: Why should any control of our ports be given to a company owned by such a dictatorship that refuses to recognize Israel?