Tours Marks Street Senior Center
Marks Street Senior Center
June 21, 2002
2:33 P.M. EDT
QUESTION: -- the threat warning that your administration has put out with regard
to fuel tugs -- tanks, rather, or trucks, what Americans need to be aware of?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, any time we get any kind of threat that we think is serious,
we'll put it out, and people need to respond accordingly.
QUESTION: Nothing more specific on this threat?
QUESTION: Mr. President, what is your current thinking on the Middle East?
When can we expect to hear from you?
THE PRESIDENT: My current thinking is, is that there are obviously some in the
Middle East who want to use violence to destroy any hopes for peace. And the
world must do everything in its power to prevent the few from creating misery
for the many.
I -- and if you're talking about the speech, I'll give the speech when
I'm ready to give the speech. (Laughter.) But -- wait a minute, let me finish.
But I strongly condemn this series of attacks. I fully recognize that Israel's
got the right to defend herself. And all parties who are interested in getting
on the path to peace must do everything they can to reject this terror. It is
outrageous, and it is -- it's got to be stopped.
QUESTION: Sir, do you agree with your wife that the building of an electronic
fence by Israel is not particularly helpful to two states living side by side
THE PRESIDENT: Israel has a right to protect herself.
QUESTION: Including an electrical fence?
QUESTION: Mr. President, yesterday business executives who saw you said that
you saw several things weighing down the market -- the state of the economy,
fears of terrorism, and a loss of confidence in corporate accounts.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
QUESTION: Do you think the market is just not going to bounce back until you
address all three of those?
THE PRESIDENT: I think we are addressing all three of those. And I think, obviously,
corporate profits are important. People are going to make their decisions based
upon their view of the future and the P/E ratios at the moment. Obviously, there
is concern in our society about possible terrorist attacks. I think most people
in America know we're doing everything we can to deal with it, particularly
chasing these people down. I don't know if you took note, but there was a significant
event that took place in the Philippines; the head of the Abu Sayyaf is now
We want to congratulate Gloria Arroyo for being tough and firm and strong to
help rid the world of this particular threat.
But I do think there is an overhang, over the market, of distrust. Listen, 95
percent or some percentage, a huge percentage of the business community are
honest and reveal all their assets and have got compensation programs that are
balanced. But there are some bad apples.
And -- well, let me finish. And there are some bad apples. And the business
world must clean up its act. I mean, people have got to have confidence as to
whether or not the assets and liabilities are good numbers. They've got to have
confidence that the leadership has got the shareholder and employee in mind
when they make decisions.
And so I'm concerned about that, and I spoke very plainly about it. You've heard
me, in many of my speeches, say in this era where we expect for there to be
personal responsibility in America, we expect there to be corporate responsibility
as well; that part of a responsible era is those who run corporate America understand
they have a responsibility.
And so I believe it's being addressed. I've got confidence in the future of
the country. I've got confidence in our economy, I've got confidence we're doing
everything we can to stop terror, and I've got confidence in the good faith
of those who run corporate America.
* * * * *
QUESTION: Mr. President, how do you feel about outpacing your predecessor when
it comes to fund-raising, which you're about to do?
THE PRESIDENT: Got good candidates. Right here. One of the great candidates
in the history of Florida.
QUESTION: You're one of the best fund-raisers, right?
THE PRESIDENT: No, no. It's the candidates, Stretch. It's the candidates.