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Public Papers - 1989

Exchange With Reporters on the National Drug Control Strategy

1989-09-06

Q. Mr. President, your critics say your plan isn't big enough, bold enough; that it is a bit timid. What's your response?

The President. My response is that they're wrong. It's a good plan. And if people would stop this criticizing for partisan reasons and get behind the program, and then if there's something additional we can be doing, let's do it. But this isn't any time for partisanship. We've got a good program. It's fine to amend it -- fine. But I'm not here in a partisan mode to respond, but they're wrong. We've got a good, comprehensive program, and we're trying. And we've got lots to learn -- all of us. But let's try this and then build on it.

You hear these men and women that are giving their lives to helping these kids. It's very inspirational. And if there's things that these doctors have suggested that we can do in addition to what I've proposed, we'll try very hard to accommodate them.

Q. Mr. President, do you think the American public is going to hold you responsible for solving the drug problem?

The President. It doesn't matter. I'll take all the responsibility in the world. You see these kids, and you want to try harder.

Note: The President spoke at 10:15 a.m. while visiting infants born addicted to cocaine at D.C. General Hospital.

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