Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden:

My advice to Scottie: Yucca Mountain is not your issue. Let it go.

Q Can you preview the remarks today, both what he’s going to say to the Joiners — the overarching remarks, and particularly Yucca Mountain?


MR. McCLELLAN: I expect he probably will talk some about Yucca Mountain. The senator from Massachusetts was recently in Vegas, and it was interesting to hear his latest comments about Yucca Mountain. He is someone who has had changing positions on this issue. The senator has said one thing when he’s in Nevada, but done another thing when he’s in Washington, D.C. And so I expect the President will touch a little bit on the Yucca Mountain issue in his remarks.


Q So my review of his votes, or my office’s review of his votes shows he never directly voted for Yucca Mountain.

MR. McCLELLAN: I think the campaign can provide you with some six votes and some other correspondence that might be available where Senator Kerry voted against Nevada and voted in support of the Yucca Mountain site. They can provide you with that information. Again, the senator says one thing when he goes to Nevada to campaign, but he has done another thing while in office in Washington, D.C. I think that’s important for the people of Nevada to know. They know where the President stands.

Q Scott, what do you say, though, to the scientific community who say that it’s unresolved, still, the issue of — it’s unresolved, the issue of whether or not that was a good idea, to allow that waste facility to —

MR. McCLELLAN: — spoke to this the other day. I know that Secretary Abraham has spoken to it recently, as well. The President has always said that this is a decision that should be based on science. And that’s what this administration has done in the decision-making process. The President is also strongly committed to making sure that all the necessary safety measures are in place to make sure that people in Nevada are safe. And we very much respect Nevada’s right to pursue this case with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and pursue it in the courts.

Q So he didn’t renege on his 2000 campaign promise?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I think that was Senator Kerry trying to divert attention away from the fact that he has acted one way in Washington, D.C., while saying another thing campaigning in Nevada.

Q What was —

MR. McCLELLAN: The President always said that this is a decision that should be based on the science, and not politics.

Q Critics say that he made —

MR. McCLELLAN: The President made it very clear. And, well, the Department of Energy has provided all the scientific evidence that the decision has been based on, and they can provide you with that information. But this is a decision that has been based on science. And I think the Senator now has taken a politically expedient position that runs counter to the actions he has taken in Washington, D.C.

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