Do They Have Fudgicles In Israel? I Bet He Would Go If He Knew They Had Fudgicles
Q Dana, is the President planning any trips to Israel and the West Bank?
MS. PERINO: He was asked — he made no announcements, in terms of travel, today. One of the things he said is that you don’t need to be in the region in order to help facilitate getting to this point. In fact, the President, as you know, has not traveled to Israel as President; he went as governor of Texas. And so he said that if there are plans and news of a future trip, that he’ll let us know.
Q But he doesn’t think that would send a signal that he’s fully engaged in this? I mean, he just doesn’t —
MS. PERINO: I think that you saw — what you saw today is that the President is fully engaged, and that it’s because of his actions — if you go back to 2002, where he — 2001, where he said, we are no longer going to stand for terror; in 2002, he calls for — he’s the first President to call for a Palestinian state.
Q And then just back to his visit — or lack thereof — to Israel, is there a reason that he hasn’t gone to Israel during the course of his presidency?
MS. PERINO: No, not that I’m aware of. Obviously he’s — he has said several times that he really loved his trip to Israel when he was governor and that of course he would like to go again. If there can be an agreement and plans come together, then we’ll let you know.
Q Dana, why do you think it is the President never has gone to Israel over the last six-and-a-half years? He has been a strong supporter; it is unusual for a President not to make a trip to that part —
MS. PERINO: I’m not going to speculate as to why he hasn’t gone. There could be a variety of reasons, including security. But I know that he would like to go again and if those plans come together he’ll let us all know.
Chimpy Don’t Do Diplomacy
Q Presumably the President offered encouragement and inspiration when he met with the two leaders yesterday. I wonder if he gets down to negotiating tomorrow, if he starts to look at specific issues when he talks with them?
MS. PERINO: Well, we’ll see. But my instinct is that that’s not the intention of these meetings.
Q So it’s more inspiration tomorrow, then? More encouragement?
MS. PERINO: Well, we’ll see. I think that it will be the how do you keep moving forward in terms — on this path. We have — they have a way to get there, which is the road map that the President released in April of 2003. And that is what they can use in order to start working through those issues.
Dana Don’t Know
Q There are reports of new tension between China and the U.S. concerning U.S. Navy ships, where Admiral Keating today said that the Chinese government has denied safe harbor. And there was some question about whether this was a new wrinkle with China, perhaps a response to the Dalai Lama’s visit. What do you know about this? And —
MS. PERINO: To be honest I don’t know enough about it. I knew about the incident from last week; this is new for me, I’ve been up in Annapolis and then with the President, and so I’ll have to refer you to Department of Defense for now. But we’ll check, and if I can get more, I’ll get it for you.
Dana Really Don’t Know
Q Any update on Vice President Cheney —
MS. PERINO: I just saw him, looking very sprightly.
Q And anything —
MS. PERINO: He was here early on this morning, he was here on time. He’s been working a full day.
Q So no changes —
MS. PERINO: No changes, he looks great.
Q — in his schedule, in his medications, nothing?
MS. PERINO: That’s right.
Q Do we understand why his implanted atrial defibrillator did not correct the arrhythmia?
MS. PERINO: I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. (Laughter.) I’m not a doctor, I don’t know.
Les Hearts Aztlan
Q Dana, at Annapolis today the President said, “The Israelis must bring an end to the occupation which began in 1967.” And my question, do you know of any Israeli officials who have asked about the U.S. occupation of Mexican land in 1848?
MS. PERINO: I do not.