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Public Papers - 1992

Exchange With Reporters Following the News Conference in San Antonio


Tax Legislation

Q. Do you think the tooth fairy is watching over that tax package?

The President. What? Something about a -- --

Q. Tooth fairy. Watched over the Democrats' tax package.

Secretary Baker. Taxes? State. Treasury is taxes. [Laughter]

Q. A great line, but never gotten it on the air. This is intense. [Laughter] But it's really unsatisfactory?

The President. Put me down as dissatisfied, yes. Terrible. It's so political and so disappointing to the American people, I think. But the Senate, there's still some hope there, I think. But it's better to keep trying, keep working, keep pressing for something that will help, not something that has a good political ring to it, necessarily.

Q. There's been no attempt by them at bipartisanship?

The President. I haven't sensed it at all. I think they voted in the very first minute to try to go politically one up. But I think the American people need some action.

Drug Summit News Conference

Q. You like to answer questions?

The President. No, I don't like to. She made me. [Laughter] The Devil made me do it. The Devil made me do it. [Laughter]

Q. Are you thinking about visiting South America?

The President. I hope I can get down there again. I know I will sometime.

Q. -- -- visit Ecuador.

The President. I've been there. As V.P., I was down there. I've been to Colombia several times.

Q. -- -- apologize to him?

The President. I apologized for getting the whole thing messed up. I don't know what happened. I told them all -- I mean, I'm afraid I know what happened. It wasn't very nice, but that's the way it is.

Q. Mr. President, was Mr. Fujimori too frank?

The President. I think you heard what he said in answer to his first question. Be sure you take a look at the text because it was very -- quite supportive.

Q. I need a question, please. One question.

The President. I may not have the answer.

War on Drugs

Q. Do you have proof about the narco-traffic leaders? Did President Gaviria have proof about -- --

The President. Proof?

Q. Yes, proof against the narco-traffic leaders.

The President. Oh, well, we will give full cooperation to the Government of Colombia to see that these people are brought to justice. And I think he feels he's getting the full cooperation. But it's very important. Intelligence exchange, exchange of information is something where the United States must work closely with this courageous President who is working very hard to bring tranquility to his country and working very hard to break up these narcotic rings. And we salute him for what he's done. And yes, the United States must provide whatever evidence we can to support his cases. And the whole judicial system in the United States, our Justice Department, must work cooperatively with the Government. And we are. I believe he's satisfied.

I really better run.

Note: The exchange began at 3:50 p.m. on the lawn of the McNay Art Museum. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.

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