Dana Peroxide Is Confused About Whether Henry Waxman Is A Senator Or A Congressman
Q Congressman Waxman is calling on the White House to release hundreds of pages of documents regarding convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. He says that the White House has released several thousand pages, but there are about 600 that you have not released. Are you asserting executive privilege over these?
MS. PERINO: This is a letter that came to the press before it came to the White House, which is, unfortunately, the pattern of behavior of Senator — Representative Waxman’s committee.
There is — internal deliberations are protected under the law. Senator — Representative Waxman knows that.
Um, Maybe Janet Reno Was Not Attempting To Immunize The President From War Crimes Charges
Q If the committee wants more documents, are you going to send them?
MS. PERINO: Well, we have — Judge Mukasey actually responded to 495 questions for the record. Just as a comparison, before her nomination, Janet Reno didn’t have to answer a single question for the record before she was confirmed. We’ve gone over and beyond the call of duty here by any reasonable stretch.
Just Call Her Karen HugeFailure
Q Since [Karen Hughes] assumed the position of Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, according to a Pew survey, the U.S. image remains abysmal in most Muslim countries. Favorable views of the U.S. in Turkey are at 9 percent; in Egypt they’re 21 percent; in Pakistan they’re 15 percent; in the Palestinian Territories they’re 13 percent; in Morocco they’re 15 percent.
MS. PERINO: I think I get your point.
Q But in Germany, in just the past two years, the favorable view of the U.S. has dropped from 42 percent to 30 percent. Do you discount those numbers? I just want you to address what has happened since she has taken on that role. It sounds like she didn’t do —
MS. PERINO: I’m not going to comment on that poll and I think it’s preposterous to think that you could question Karen Hughes’s achievements in terms of being responsible for the numbers in a particular poll. That’s ridiculous.
Q So in your mind, she has succeeded in her goal of outreach to the Arab world, based on those numbers that I just cited?
MS. PERINO: Look, I’m not going to comment or respond to a poll that you just read out. I don’t know about those numbers, I don’t know the questions that were asked; I think it’s inappropriate. What I can tell you is that she has done amazing work.
Q So in your view, the U.S. image in the Arab world has improved under Karen Hughes?
MS. PERINO: We are making progress. I know that we have a long way to go.
Read Mah Lips – No New Taxes!
Q And on SCHIP, even Republicans are saying now that one of the main issues of this debate is actually the funding of it, and that they are acknowledging that some form of tobacco increase — some tobacco increase will be necessary to help fund any expansion. So I still — it’s still not clear to me, if you support expansion, how you’re going to pay for this.
MS. PERINO: We support expansion. The President does not believe that we need to have any tax increases. It’s not regarded just — it’s not limited just to the tobacco tax. The President believes the federal government has plenty of money in order to take care of these programs in a responsible way. And we have identified a whole range of programs that could be cut; that was put out when we did the budget back in February of 2007. And I can’t tell you precisely where we would find those funds, but you can rest assured that we would find them without raising taxes.
Q But you cited $92 billion yesterday which is mandatory spending, your entitlement spending. And if you oppose increases in taxes to fund AMT patch, which you support, extenders, which you support, and possibly an expansion in SCHIP, are you saying that $92 billion would be enough to cover all those?
MS. PERINO: I’m not going to comment. We’ll work it through. I can just assure you that the President will not be raising taxes.
Les Plumbs The Depths Of Irrelevance
Q Newsweek reports that the William J. Clinton Presidential Library has become widely known as Little Rock’s Fort Knox, because barely one-half of 1 percent of the 78 million pages of documents in this $165 million building are available to be examined by the public. And my question: When President Bush helped to dedicate this expensive building, did he believe there would ever be as much censorship of its contents, and does he believe this is right or wrong?
MS. PERINO: I’m sure that that never entered the President’s mind. But I’m also equally sure that journalists like you in this room will continue to hold their feet to the fire to try to get the documents you seek.
I’m going to move on.
Q And does the President believe — does the President believe that it should be —
MS. PERINO: Let’s not yell. Let’s not yell.
Q All right. Excuse me.