Tony Farto Thinks World War III Is Nothing To Worry About
Q On Iran, why should the American public trust that the administration isn’t making a case laying the groundwork for military action, when you have the President and the Vice President talking about World War III and the possibility of the country facing serious consequences if they don’t stop their nuclear pursuit?
MR. FRATTO: Look, the President and the Vice President, Secretary Rice, Secretary Gates, have all been incredibly clear and consistent in our message on Iran, and that is that we first seek a diplomatic solution and we are committed to a diplomatic solution and we’re committed to working with out international partners in a unified way to put pressure on Iran to stop this activity.
Q So it’s a coincidence the President and Vice President both step up their rhetoric in days of each other?
MR. FRATTO: I wouldn’t call it stepping up rhetoric.
SCHIP? You Can Have All The Money You Want For SCHIP
Q Tony, back to the supplemental, the President just vetoed SCHIP — you know, an extra $35 billion for children’s health care, saying he wanted to be fiscally responsible; hold the line on federal spending. How does he then justify coming out of the gate with an — you know, in such a short period of time and saying, now I need an extra $40-plus billion for Iraq?
MR. FRATTO: Well, I could see that point if that was what the President said, but that’s exactly not what the President said. What the President said was is that they have the policy wrong on SCHIP, not that it’s too expensive or is —
Q They were asking for too much, though, right?
MR. FRATTO: No, they were asking for a policy that was bad.
He didn’t say that it’s too expensive — although it is too expensive to spend money on the wrong policy. So what he has said is the policy is wrong.
Now, with regard to the supplemental request, children — the right children, poor children getting their health care, and the needs of our troops can both be accomplished. They’re both priorities and we can handle both of those requests.
Les Fears Teh Gay
Q Okay. A New York Times editorial has noted that Governor Schwarzenegger has just vetoed a bill which would have permitted the distribution of condoms “in California’s AIDS-ravaged prisons,” which the Times contended is “self-defeating and a denial of the reality of life behind bars.” And my question: Does the White House agree with the Governor or with The New York Times?
MR. FRATTO: I think that’s an issue for the Governor of California and the people of California to determine.
Q I want to know, where does the President stand?
MR. FRATTO: Like I said, that’s a state issue.