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Public Papers - 1991 - October

Exchange With Reporters on the Nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court

1991-10-11

The President. I just want to deviate from the rules of keeping this open just for a photo op to make a statement about the proceedings on the Hill.

In my view, Judge Thomas made a very, very powerful and convincing statement. This decent and honorable man has been smeared. And his statement was strong. But, you know, the judge was wrong in one way. He said grave and irreparable damage cannot be corrected. The damage is grave, but his innate decency and honor are such that even these charges will not do irreparable damage to him.

The American people are fair, they are basically fair. And they know character when they see it. And today they saw a decent, honest man speaking from the heart. And he should be confirmed. In my view, he will be confirmed. And in the end, he will get his good name back.

Thank you very much. And now -- --

Q. Mr. President, are you -- --

The President. I'm not going to take any questions. I've said all I want to say about it.

Q. Are you interested in hearing Ms. Hill's comments?

The President. I am interested in the whole process. And I've said exactly what I think, and I'm not going to change my mind. I saw honor and decency there. And I know it when I see it, and so do the American people.

Thank you all very much.

Q. Do you think he's going to withdraw?

The President. I've answered all the questions I'm going to answer. Thank you.

Let there be no doubt.

Note: The exchange began at 11:34 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House during a photo session with Secretary General Manfred Woerner of NATO. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

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