Q Dana, can you discuss the parameters for separating political events from White House business? I mean, is it appropriate for politicking to be going on from the White House podium, from the White House Rose Garden?
MS. PERINO: Well, as I reminded you, that the President is the head of the Republican Party, and the President was pleased today to invite Senator John McCain to his home, and invited him in through the front door. And they’re having lunch now, and then they’ll meet in the Rose Garden. And I can tell you that, in checking with the Counsel’s Office, all of these events and activities were thoroughly evaluated and approved.
Q Does the Hatch Act mean he can’t campaign from the White House?
MS. PERINO: Sorry?
Q Does the Hatch Act mean that he cannot campaign from this pedestal?
MS. PERINO: No, this event — the event today was thoroughly evaluated by the Counsel’s Office and approved.
Dana Has Trouble Naming Any Bush Assministration Achievements
Q Last week, both candidates, Senator Obama and Clinton, both were talking about the President’s seven-year record in the White House, and they were criticizing some of it. Can you just give a little detail that — what the President has achieved in the seven years? And also, what he could not do, he wanted to do?
MS. PERINO: Well, Goyal, I could be here all day, if we’re going to list all that, but I’ll spare people and say that obviously the President has kept this country safe. He’s had good economic policies. We had 52 consecutive months of job growth. We are in a current slowdown and the President is taking action to mitigate against that. And there are significant achievements across the board, both domestic and foreign policy oriented.
OPEC Says Chimpy Is Mismanging The Economy
Q OPEC today declined to raise oil production. The oil ministers said a couple of things. One, they said the U.S. economy is being mismanaged and that is part of the problem. And two, they said the rising price of oil is due less to a shortage and more to the declining value of the dollar. I would like you to address both of those things if you could.
MS. PERINO: Well, as the President said yesterday, he would have liked OPEC to have made a different decision.
And as to the economy being — their suggestion that our economy is being mismanaged: The United States economy is fundamentally sound with good structure. We are in a little bit of a slowdown right now. We have taken measures to mitigate against that, and we believe that we will see us pull out of this before the end of the year.
Q And their assertion that the falling value of the dollar is more responsible for the rise of oil prices?
MS. PERINO: I have seen that assertion, but as you know I don’t talk about the dollar from here.