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Public Papers - 1991 - September

Exchange With Reporters at the Grand Canyon, Arizona

1991-09-18

Q. Mr. President, a question about Iraq while you're there, sir? Could you take a moment?

The President. No, I can't.

Q. Can we ask you an environmental question?

The President. No, not right now. I'm in a learning process here.

Environmental Policy

Q. This is a great photo op, but your critics say your policy doesn't measure up, sir.

The President. That's not what we're hearing today, Jim [Jim Miklaszewski, NBC News]. If you listened carefully to the briefing, you'd see great progress has been made. That's a very important point.

That's the last question I might take because we're getting a good briefing here.

Iraq

Q. Mr. President, with all due respect, sir, could you at least tell us if time is running out on Saddam? Has he run out of time?

The President. A long time ago.

Q. We're told that you're moving troops back to Saudi Arabia, sir. Is that true?

Environmental Policy

Q. Mr. President, on the environment, are your critics just wrong about the administration's record on the environment?

The President. Now we're doing -- now we're focusing on domestic.

Q. Are your critics just wrong?

The President. Wrong about what?

Q. About their criticism of the administration's policy on the environment.

The President. Yes, they're wrong. They're wrong. You've heard about the progress.

Q. Why wasn't this plant cleaned up years ago?

The President. We've got the Clean Air; we've got the revision of the Clean Air. We're signing an agreement today, and progress is being made. That's the good point. But I think the critics are -- you can't respond to the extremes in the critics. We've got some critics and perfect reason to say we can do better, but we're making real progress.

Q. The environmentalists pushed the administration into doing this.

The President. No, no. No, no. We're doing what's right.

Presidential Campaign

Q. Is this a warm-up for your campaign '92, sir?

The President. No. No, no.

Q. Not even a -- --

The President. I'll let you know when that comes. You'll know it when you see it.

Q. You mean you're not running?

The President. You'll know it when you see it.

Note: The exchange began at 9:10 a.m. at Yavapai Point on the Grand Canyon. In the exchange a reporter referred to President Saddam Hussein of Iraq. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange

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