Ed “The Weasel” Gillespie Discusses Chimpy’s Efforts On Your Behalf
Q One of the things on a lot of people’s minds back home is the price of oil. Has that come up, or does the President plan to bring that up with the King?
MR. GILLESPIE: It has come up. It’s come up in different context. There’s been questions about — and again, I don’t know about the President’s conversation with the King; I’m talking more generally about conversations in the region. There was interest in reducing* — alternative fuels and the efforts there, and how that’s going. There has been talk about the oil prices, but I don’t know if the President will raise it in his one-on-one, or if he’s raised it yet today. I can’t answer that question about the King.
*There was interest in reducing (dependence on oil)…
Q Why wouldn’t he?
MR. GILLESPIE: I didn’t say he didn’t, I just don’t know if he’s going to. It has come up in other conversations and other context in the region.
Q This is for Ed again. I’m going to try once on the oil question. These are four countries that are — are major producers of oil in the world. Did the President at any time bring up with any of these rulers, either in a private session or in group sessions, the Americans’ concern about the high price of oil?
MR. GILLESPIE: Yes, they talked about oil. The President made the point about the — part of his agenda is alternative fuels and alternative sources of fuel. They talked about the nature of the market and the vast demand that’s on the world market today for oil. That was a point that was obviously made in the course of these conversations by our friends, and that’s a legitimate and accurate point. So there has been discussion of oil and energy, along with other issues that have come up in these talks.
Q Did those leaders in any way indicate some possible ways they’re going to — of mitigating against those high prices?
MR. GILLESPIE: I don’t want to characterize — I’m more comfortable letting other governments characterize the nature of the conversation from their perspective.
Mr. Bush was critical of Al Gore in the 2000 campaign for being part of “the administration that’s been in charge” while the “price of gasoline has gone steadily upward.” In December 1999, in the first Republican primary debate, Mr. Bush said President Clinton “must jawbone OPEC members to lower prices.”