Public Papers - 1990 - March
Exchange With Reporters at a Meeting With Ronald Reagan in Los Angeles, California
U.S. Hostages in Lebanon
Q. Mr. Reagan, there are reports out of Geneva that some secret talks are underway to help the release of the hostages in Lebanon. What kind of advice or words of caution do you have for President Bush?
President Reagan. Well, the way most leaks turn out, the caution, I think, would be: Wait until somebody could prove it.
Q. President Reagan, since the contras were pretty much a creation of your administration, is it time now for them to lay down their arms?
President Reagan. Don't you think it might be time enough for us to wait and make sure that there is a civilian government in place in Nicaragua? Because the Sandinistas had their arms and their weapons long before any Nicaraguan citizens picked up guns and became the contras.
Q. Do you think they should wait, then, until Mrs. Chamorro is inaugurated April 25th?
President Reagan. Well, I don't know whether to wait that long or not, but things could take place foreshadowing what the situation is going to be earlier than that.
Q. Do you share that concern, Mr. President?
President Bush. I've expressed myself on this, and at this photo op I've elected not to take any questions. So, we have a slight differences in policy.
President Reagan. Oh, I was just sitting there. And, yes, he's doing exactly what is right for him. I just have a little more freedom.
President Bush. That's right. Exactly.
Meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kaifu
Q. President Bush, can you comment on what you hope to accomplish with the Prime Minister tomorrow?
President Bush. It's going to be interesting to meet with Prime Minister Kaifu -- coming because he's just solidified his position in the party and he's been reanointed. And we've got to convince him that we've got to move forward with some of the tough problems, as you know.
President Reagan. Have you met him before?
President Bush. Yes, sir. I've been there a couple of times.
President Reagan. I met him in Japan, too.
President Bush. Yes, impressive. I'm impressed with him. He's a very good man -- good man.
Reel them in there, gang.
President Reagan's Health
Q. How are you feeling, Mr. President?
President Reagan. Just fine.
Q. You look very good, sir.
President Reagan. Well, thank you. I'm back riding horses now and then.
Q. Are you?
President Reagan. Yes.
Q. You've got to get back on them, right? Once they throw you, get back on them. Right?
President Reagan. Yes. And as I've told some of you -- the old cavalry saying -- there's nothing so good for the inside of a man as the outside of a horse. [Laughter]
Q. Did you feel the earthquake?
President Reagan. No, I was traveling. Nancy did. She was on the phone. She hung up. [Laughter]
Note: A tape was not available for verification of the content of the exchange, which occurred in the afternoon at President Reagan's office in the Fox Plaza.