Pony Blow emerged from his undisclosed location to host yesterday’s gaggle.
Chimpy and Alberto Aren’t Speaking
Q Tony, I know the President has had a really busy day, but he’s had some downtime since the DOJ thing sort of became very prominent today. Do you know if he’s had a chance to talk to Alberto Gonzales, or plans to this evening?
MR. SNOW: I doubt it. I know he hadn’t talked to him — well, last time I checked he had not talked to him. So I don’t think so. And, Kelly, I’ll try to get a readout if there’s any change; I’ll be seeing the President in a few minutes when we head off to this dinner. We’ll figure out some way to get an answer. But I seriously doubt it.
And They Won’t Give Up Karl Rove Without A Fight
Q On the DOJ thing, this afternoon Senators Leahy and Specter sent a letter to the White House saying they’d like to see Karl Rove, Harriet Miers, I think one other official, Mr. Kelley, I think, come in and voluntarily testify and just sort of clear this up, rather than forcing a subpoena showdown. Do you think there’s any benefit, does the White House see any benefit in just kind of voluntarily coming up there?
MR. SNOW: Well, as you know, Ed, it has been traditional in all White Houses not to have staffers testify on Capitol Hill. So I think what we have been trying to do is to work in a way to be as forthcoming with members of Congress — you saw all the emails coming out today — give them all the information so that they can make a fair judgment about it.
Yo, Pete Baker — You Want An Answer? Go Ask The Guy We Fired!
Q Can I come back to the U.S. attorneys for a second. Kyle Sampson sent an email to Harriet Miers in March ’05, ranked all these U.S. attorneys. And one of the factors was that strong performers exhibited loyalty. I wonder if you could talk about what role does loyalty play in evaluating prosecutors who are charged with enforcing the law and investigating corruption —
MR. SNOW: Peter, since that was — we’re putting these things out so people can take a look at it. The most important thing that you have U.S. attorneys is that they perform their jobs well.
Q But how does loyalty figure into that?
MR. SNOW: Again, I don’t have an answer for you. I mean, what you’re really talking — you’re going to have to ask Kyle Sampson what that is.
Q Well, you’ve gotten rid of him, so — (laughter) — he’s no longer —
MR. SNOW: Well, I know, but you know what, that’s — I’m just telling you that the metric that’s being used are effective, and for trying to figure out what Kyle Sampson meant, you’ve got to ask him.
Q Well, how about now?
MR. SNOW: How about now? Again, what we’ve talked about is being effective in going ahead and enforcing the law.
Q Is part of “effective” currently loyalty to the administration?
MR. SNOW: Look, these are political appointees, so these are people who certainly have the support of the administration. But are we having loyalty tests? No.
Chimpy Disses Republikkkans, Forcing Pony Blow To Bite His Tongue
Q Tony, the President said yesterday that the Republicans don’t have a coherent position on immigration, and that that has to be the first thing he does, in terms of comprehensive legislation. So what is he going to do when he comes back, exactly, to forge a coherent Republican —
MR. SNOW: Well, I think maybe it’s — well, I won’t change the President’s word. I think what’s going on is Republicans are trying to develop a unified position and there continue to be leadership discussions. Those are ongoing. Our legislative affairs people are in constant contact, and so is the President.
Pony Claims That The Latin American Protestors Were Mostly Outside Agitators…
Q Tony, did the President see any of the protests outside the window of his motorcade? And did he remark upon the protests? And what do you all think the protests represent or say about —
MR. SNOW: Which protests are you talking about? Are you talking about on this trip?
MR. SNOW: Well, the fact is, yes, what we also saw, for instance, in Guatemala was that the protestors — maybe 1 percent, if you really take a look at what happened on the roadside, and furthermore, apparently, according to locals, some of the protestors weren’t even local. So it’s — he understands that you can have protests, and that’s — but the other thing he understands is that as a leader in the region, it’s important to work together with the governments on issues that matter. And at least the clear sense we’ve gotten is if you’re taking a look at whether the people on balance were happy or sad that the President came, they’re happy.
Of Course Those Outside Agitators Came From The Inside
Q When you say some of the protestors were not local, do you mean they came in from out of the country? Or do you just mean from out of the —
MR. SNOW: No, no, no, no, no. They came from outside the area. They were in country.