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pd08no99 Joint Statement by President Clinton and Prime Minister Kjell Bondevik...


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precious lands at greater risk.
    So let me be clear: If Congress sends me this Interior bill, I'll 
veto it. Again, I urge Congress to work with me on a better bill that is 
unburdened by these anti-environmental provisions and that has adequate 
funding to protect our natural landscape through the lands legacy 
initiative.
    All though this century, since Theodore Roosevelt set us on the path 
of conservation, Americans have worked together across party lines to 
protect public health and restore and protect our environment. As we 
begin the new millennium, let our gift to the future be a new effort, 
together across party lines, to clean our air, to ensure safe water, and 
to preserve healthy, thriving lands.
    Thanks for listening.

Note: The address was recorded at 6:59 p.m. on October 29 at a private 
residence in Atlanta, GA, for broadcast at 10:06 a.m. on October 30. The 
transcript was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary on 
October 29 but was embargoed for release until the broadcast.

[[Page 2213]]


<DOC>
[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]
 [frwais.access.gpo.gov]
                         

[Page 2213]
 
Monday, November 8, 1999
 
Volume 35--Number 44
Pages 2199-2266
 
Week Ending Friday, November 5, 1999
 
Statement on Naming a Guided Missile Destroyer in Honor of the Late 
Senator John H. Chafee

October 30, 1999

    I am honored to announce today that the 40th ship of the Arleigh 
Burke class of guided missile destroyers will be named in honor of the 
late Senator John H. Chafee of Rhode Island. Senator Chafee 
distinguished himself throughout a life dedicated to serving our Nation 
as a United States Senator, as Secretary of the Navy, as Governor of 
Rhode Island, and as a United States Marine in World War II and the 
Korean war. Given Senator Chafee's long association with the sea--with 
the Marine Corps, the Navy, and the great maritime State of Rhode 
Island--I can think of no better way to honor his many contributions 
than to name a warship in his honor.
    The ship named in honor of Senator Chafee will be one of the most 
technologically advanced ships in the United States Navy. It will be 
capable of performing a wide range of missions in support of U.S. 
national security. Whether showing the flag in peacetime to build good 
will with other nations or employing its potent combat power in 
conflict, the ship will carry on Senator Chafee's legacy of honorable 
service to our Nation.


<DOC>
[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]
 [frwais.access.gpo.gov]
                         

[Page 2213]
 
Monday, November 8, 1999
 
Volume 35--Number 44
Pages 2199-2266
 
Week Ending Friday, November 5, 1999
 
Remarks Following Church Services and an Exchange With Reporters

October 31, 1999

EgyptAir Flight 990 Aircraft Tragedy

    The President. Like all Americans, Hillary and I are very saddened 
by the crash of the EgyptAir flight off the coast of Massachusetts. We 
are working on the recovery efforts. We know there has been an extensive 
loss of life, and we don't yet know what caused the accident. So I 
really think I can't say any more now, except----
    Q. Have you talked with anyone, sir?
    The President. Only our people. They've briefed me. But we don't 
know, we don't know what the cause of the accident is. We'll keep 
working until we find out.
    Q. Concerns about foul play, sir?
    The President. We don't know. We have no evidence of that at this 
time, and I think it's better if people draw no conclusions until we 
know something.
    Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 12:15 p.m. outside Foundry United Methodist 
Church. A tape was not available for verification of the content of 
these remarks.


<DOC>
[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]
 [frwais.access.gpo.gov]
                         

[Page 2213-2218]
 
Monday, November 8, 1999
 
Volume 35--Number 44
Pages 2199-2266
 
Week Ending Friday, November 5, 1999
 
Interview With Bryant Gumbel of the Columbia Broadcast System's ``Early 
Show''

October 31, 1999

    Mr. Gumbel. Mr. President, first off, thank you very much for the 
time. I'm grateful.
    The President. You're welcome. I'm glad to see you. Congratulations 
on your new program.
    Mr. Gumbel. Thank you very much.
    The President. It's going to ruin your golf game getting up at 4 
o'clock every morning.

EgyptAir Flight 990 Aircraft Tragedy

    Mr. Gumbel. Well it's not bad, though, you're on the tee by noon so 
it's okay. Let me turn serious for a moment.
    We meet against the backdrop of the EgyptAir 990 crash. At this 
point in time, have you any reason to believe this was anything other 
than an accident?
    The President. No. I don't. But I think it's important that we draw 
no conclusions about it and just let the investigation take its course.
    Mr. Gumbel. Given history, given the volatile nature of Mideast 
relationships, do you see the absence of answers in any way impacting 
the Mideast talks in Oslo?
    The President. Based on what I know now, I don't. I had a good talk 
with President Mubarak. I called him immediately when I got up this 
morning, and we talked about it a little bit. We're working together 
with the Egyptian Government in every way we can on this crash. So, now, 
I don't. So, unless there is some question I don't know about that 
arises in the next day or 2, I don't think it will.

[[Page 2214]]

    Mr. Gumbel. Would you say President Mubarak shares your view right 
now that there is no reason to believe this was anything other than an 
accident?
    The President. Well, I think we agree that the evidence doesn't give 
us any indication that there was, now. But the evidence doesn't say 
anything one way or the other. We don't know. And I think the honest 
answer to people who ask is that they shouldn't have a prejudice about 
it one way or the other. We should just look and see.

Upcoming Middle East Peace Talks in Oslo, Norway

    Mr. Gumbel. As you look to Oslo, what are your realistic 
expectations of what you can accomplish?
    The President. Well, I hope that by getting together with Prime 
Minister Barak and Chairman Arafat in a setting designed to honor the 
memory and to evoke the memory of Yitzhak Rabin, we can give some new 
energy to this process. They've done really quite well with their 
cooperation on security, with opening the safe passage from the West 
Bank to Gaza, with agreeing to a very disciplined timetable. But now 
they're getting into these issues which are all hard. And my strong 
conviction is that we've known what these issues are for a long time 
now; they're not going to get any easier. So whatever I and whatever the 
United States can do to facilitate a timely resolution of these issues I 
think will be positive. So I think this will have a positive impact on 
getting the process going along here.
    Mr. Gumbel. Is it easier for you to feel a degree of optimism 
because it's Barak involved right now instead of Netanyahu?
    The President. Well that may be part of it. But I think the main 
thing is that Barak and Arafat have now made an agreement and they're 
implementing it. And they're also cooperating on security issues. And 
Barak has made publicly clear that he had a timetable for resolving 
this, and he's received the support of the Israeli people. So that whole 
set of circumstances make me optimistic.
    On the other hand, I want to say again, we're now down to the hard 
decisions. When Oslo was negotiated, the Oslo agreement, way back at the 
very end of '92, they knew what they were doing in saying, ``Okay, here 
is what we're going to do now; here's what we're going to do in the next 
4 or 5 years; here is what we're going to do at the end.'' And they left 
the hard stuff to the end. It was the right decision, but we're now down 
to the end and we have to deal with the hard stuff.

President's Role in 2000 Elections

    Mr. Gumbel. Let's move closer to home. Let's talk politics, close to 
your heart, of course. The two people who have been closest to you for 7 
years are about to get out there on the campaign trail while you stay at 
home and deal with the issues. Is that terribly frustrating?
    The President. No. Actually, I enjoy it. I knew when I started that 
it would come to an end. I was hoping I would be fortunate enough to 
serve two terms, and I have been. And I've loved every day of it. And 
now it's important that the work of the country go on and that the 
direction that we have taken continue and that the changes that still 
need to be made by the country be made. So I'm actually very--I'm proud 
of the Vice President, and I'm very proud of my wife for being willing 
to stick their necks out and do this. And I wish them well.
    Mr. Gumbel. What role do you see yourself playing in their 
campaigns?
    The President. Well no official role, really. And I shouldn't. But I 
will do what I'm asked to do. I've helped the Vice President at a couple 
of fundraisers, and we talk with some frequency. And of course, I talk 
to Hillary all the time, every day. And it's so funny because our roles 
are almost completely reversed now. All the things that she did for me 
over more than 20 years, all the encouragement, reminders, helpful 
suggestions, everything, all the things, we've just kind of reversed 
roles. And I'm enjoying it. I'm trying to do a good job in my new role.
    Mr. Gumbel. How do you view the polls that have suggested that if 
you're on the campaign trail with them, you may be more of a liability 
than a positive?
    The President. Well, what I think people are saying is we want these 
people to sell themselves. And we don't want anyone to tell us how to 
vote. That's the point I tried to

[[Page 2215]]

make in Philadelphia when I was campaigning for John Street, that I 
don't want to tell you how to vote. I would like to offer you some 
reasons about why you should vote.
    And I think particularly in New York where Hillary--which has been 
wonderful to me; I got 58 percent of the vote; we won by 1.8 million 
votes in New York in 1996, but that doesn't mean that those New Yorkers 
believe I should tell them who should be their Senator. They want to see 
Hillary out there committed to them, their issues, their needs, their 
future. And the more she does that, the more everybody else will be able 
to make arguments about why she should be elected. But I think--and 
that's just the way the democratic process works. And it's good.
    Mr. Gumbel. Would you welcome the chance to get out there and stump 
against Rudy Guiliani, or if the case calls for it, George W. Bush?
    The President. Well, what I hope that I will be able to do is to 
remind the American people of where we were 7 years ago, where we are 
now, where we need to go in the future. I agree with the majority of 
people who say they still want change. The question is, what kind of 
change do we want? And the vote of the public in the year 2000--the 
American people will not decide whether we're going to change or not; we 
are. You know, things are changing at a breathtaking pace, and we have 
to keep up. The question is, what kind of change will we embrace? And 
insofar as I can offer my observations, not only as the President but as 
a citizen, as someone who wants our grandchildren to live in the 
strongest possible country, I will do that.
    But you have to be careful. I can't expect anybody to vote for 
anyone, not just the Vice President and Hillary, not anyone, just 
because I say they should do it. So the only thing I can do is hope that 
the position I have will get people to listen to whatever reasons I 
offer.

Vice President's Candidacy

    Mr. Gumbel. Why do you think, turning to the Vice President's 
campaign for a second, if might, why do you think the Vice President is 
having such a difficult time opening up ground between himself and Bill 
Bradley?
    The President. Well, first I think he's doing a good job on his 
campaign right now. I thought he did a good job in the debate. I think 
he did a good thing to go home to Tennessee. And I think that if--by 
historical standards, he's doing quite well. I think Bill Bradley is an 
intelligent, a compelling man with a good life story and a lot of 
friends built up in professional basketball and 18 years in the Senate 
and all the other things he's done. And he's out there running a 
credible campaign.
    But if you look at the last time this happened, when then-Vice 
President Bush was running against Bob Dole, at this time in that race 
Vice President Bush was only one point ahead of Bob Dole in the national 
polls.
    People want to see the Vice President out there establishing his own 
identity with his own program for the future, making clear where he 
wants to go. If he does, I think he will be nominated. And I think he's 
doing a good job of that now.

Gov. George W. Bush of Texas

    Mr. Gumbel. It would seem that at this point that whoever prevails 
will be going up against George W. Bush. In style and personality, 
Governor Bush has been characterized as the GOP's version of you. 
Flattering? Offensive?
    The President. It's certainly not offensive. I think he's got--he's 
a very accomplished political leader, and he's got good instincts for 
where the political center is.
    Mr. Gumbel. Flattering then?
    The President. And I think--well, let me say, and I think he's made 
a deliberate decision to present his candidacy as sort of a new 
Republican--kind of a kinder, gentler Republican alternative. What I 
hope the American people will focus on when they get to the general 
election--and we're not there yet. Let me say, I don't think Senator 
McCain is out of this yet. I think he's a very credible alternative. And 
I think that the fact that he's been willing to participate in these 
debates, and Governor Bush hasn't, I think is a plus for McCain.
    Assuming we get to that point, then I think the issue will be, what 
does the Republican

[[Page 2216]]

nominee offer for the future? What does the Democratic nominee offer to 
the future? What would the combination of a Republican President and 

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