Envoy to Iraq
The Oval Office
The White House
May 6, 2003
1:19 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Today it's my honor to announce that Jerry Bremer has agreed
to become the presidential envoy to Iraq. In selecting Jerry Bremer, our country
will be sending one of our best citizens. He's a man of enormous experience;
a person who knows how to get things done; he's a can-do type person; he shares
the same values as the American -- most Americans share, and that is our deep
desire to have an orderly country in Iraq that is free and at peace, where
the average citizen has a chance to achieve his or her dreams.
The Ambassador goes with the full blessings of this administration, and the
full confidence of all of us in this administration that he can get the job
So, Mr. Ambassador, thanks for taking this on and I'm proud of you and I
appreciate so very much you're willing to sacrifice not only on behalf of
our country, but on behalf of the people of Iraq who deserve a free and democratic
society. Good luck to you.
MR. BREMER: Thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: I'll answer some questions.
QUESTION: Mr. President, how did Mitch Daniels explain his resignation today? And
does that departure affect your prospects for a tax package on the Hill?
THE PRESIDENT: Mitch told me that he wants to go back home to the state of
Indiana and perhaps pursue a run for political office. I told him, I said,
Mitch, we're going to miss you a lot in this administration. He has served
us well. He has been a really good watchdog of the taxpayers' money. And, you
know, I'm going to miss him. On the other hand, this administration's loss
is the gain of the people of Indiana.
And we're going to get a tax package through because it's the right thing
to do. And I hope Congress acts decisively and boldly. I put up a package that
will increase the number of new jobs by a million folks at the end of 2004.
And I expect them to understand, there's a lot of people looking for work and
the burden is on them right now. And we're going to send a lot of people up
there from around the country, and we'll be sending our own folks here in the
administration to work with members of the Congress to remind them that the
size of the tax package will depend on them and the bigger the package, the
more likely it is that people are going to find a job here.
QUESTION: Mr. President, following up briefly on Scott's question, will fiscal discipline
be as high on the qualification list for Mitch Daniels' successor as it was
when he entered office?
THE PRESIDENT: First of all, fiscal discipline was high on my agenda. And,
therefore, anybody that works for me will place a premium on fiscal discipline.
It turns out that the -- that appropriators love to appropriate here in Washington.
Given a pot of money, they will appropriate it, unless there's an administration
willing to fight on behalf of the taxpayers. This administration is willing
to fight on behalf of the taxpayers. We will insist upon fiscal discipline
here in Washington, D.C.
QUESTION: Mr. President, Defense officials are now saying they are confident they
have found a mobile biological lab, exactly what Secretary Powell described
before the United Nations. Are you aware of the details? What can you tell
us about that? And has Secretary Rumsfeld given you any details?
THE PRESIDENT: I'm not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program
of Saddam Hussein -- because he had a weapons program. I will leave the details
of your question to the experts, but one thing we know is that he had a weapons
program. We also know he spent years trying to hide the weapons program. And
over time the truth will come out and the American people will see that when
we rid Saddam Hussein from -- got him out of power, we made America more secure.
QUESTION: Would you mind if we ask Secretary Rumsfeld if he could share --
SECRETARY RUMSFELD: I like the President's answer.