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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i]
Monday, October 18, 2004


Published every Monday by the Office of the Federal Register, National 
Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC 20408, the Weekly 
Compilation of Presidential Documents contains statements, messages, and
other Presidential materials released by the White House during the 
preceding week.

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[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-iv]
Pages 2289	2413

[[Page ii]]



 Addresses and Remarks

         Debate watch party in Phoenix--2384
         Presidential debate in Tempe--2364
         Remarks in Paradise Valley--2359
         Luncheon for senatorial candidate Pete Coors in Denver--2338
         Remarks in Colorado Springs--2352
         Remarks in Morrison--2344
         Remarks in Cedar Rapids--2405
         Remarks in Waterloo--2318
    Minnesota, remarks in Chanhassen--2324
         Breakfast for gubernatorial candidate Matt Blunt in St. Louis--
         Debate watch party in Ballwin--2311
         Presidential debate in St. Louis--2289
         Remarks in Las Vegas--2387
         Remarks in Reno--2393
    New Mexico, remarks in Hobbs--2330
    Oregon, remarks in Central Point--2399
    Radio address--2317

 Bill Signings

    Military Construction Appropriations and Emergency Hurricane 
        Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2005, statement--2385

Interviews With the News Media

     Exchange with reporters aboard Air Force One--2386

Letters and Messages

    Ramadan, message--2411


    Columbus Day--2351
    General Pulaski Memorial Day--2351
    National School Lunch Week--2363

Statements by the President

    See also Bill Signings
    Death of Christopher Reeve--2350

Supplementary Materials

     Acts approved by the President--2413
     Checklist of White House press releases--2413
     Digest of other White House announcements--2412
     Nominations submitted to the Senate--2413

  Editor's Note: The President was in Oshkosh, WI, on October 15, the 
closing date of this issue. Releases and announcements issued by the 
Office of the Press Secretary but not received in time for inclusion in 
this issue will be printed next week.

[[Page iv]]


[[Page 2289]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 2289-2311]
Pages 2289	2413
Week Ending Friday, October 15, 2004
Presidential Debate in St. Louis, Missouri

October 8, 2004

    Charles Gibson. Good evening from the Field House at Washington 
University in St. Louis. I'm Charles Gibson of ABC News and ``Good 
Morning America.'' I welcome you to the second of the 2004 Presidential 
debates between President George W. Bush, the Republican nominee, and 
Senator John Kerry, the Democratic nominee. The debates are sponsored by 
the Commission on Presidential Debates.
    Tonight's format is going to be a bit different. We have assembled a 
townhall meeting. We're in the ``Show Me'' State, as everyone knows 
Missouri to be, so Missouri residents will ask the questions, these 140 
citizens who were identified by the Gallup Organization as not yet 
committed in this election. Now, earlier today each audience member gave 
me two questions on cards like this: One they'd like to ask of the 
President; the other they'd like to ask the Senator. I have selected the 
questions to be asked and the order. No one has seen the final list of 
questions but me--certainly not the candidates. No audience member knows 
if he or she will be called upon. Audience microphones will be turned 
off after a question is asked.
    Audience members will address their question to a specific 
candidate. He'll have 2 minutes to answer. The other candidate will have 
a minute and a half for rebuttal. And I have the option of extending 
discussion for 1 minute, to be divided equally between the two men. All 
subjects are open for discussion. And you probably know the light system 
by now, green light at 30 seconds, yellow at 15, red at 5, and flashing 
red means you're done. Those are the candidates' rules. I will hold the 
candidates to the time limits forcefully, but politely, I hope.
    And now please join me in welcoming, with great respect, President 
Bush and Senator Kerry.
    Gentlemen, to the business at hand. The first question is for 
Senator Kerry, and it will come from Cheryl Otis, who is right behind 

Consistent Leadership

    Cheryl Otis. Senator Kerry, after talking to several coworkers and 
family and friends, I asked the ones who said they were not voting for 
you, why. They said that you were too wishy-washy. Do you have a reply 
for them?
    Senator Kerry. Yes, I certainly do. [Laughter] But let me just 
first, Cheryl, if you will, I want to thank Charlie for moderating. I 
want to thank Washington University for hosting us here this evening. 
Mr. President, it's good to be with you again this evening, sir.
    Cheryl, the President didn't find weapons of mass destruction in 
Iraq, so he's really turned his campaign into a weapon of mass 
deception. And the result is that you've been bombarded with 
advertisements suggesting that I've changed a position on this or that 
or the other. Now, the three things they try to say I've changed 
position on are the PATRIOT Act--I haven't. I support it. I just don't 
like the way John Ashcroft has applied it. And we're going to change a 
few things. The chairman of the Republican Party thinks we ought to 
change a few things.
    No Child Left Behind Act--I voted for it. I support it. I support 
the goals. But the President has underfunded it by $28 billion. Right 
here in St. Louis, you've laid off 350 teachers. You're 150--excuse me, 
I think it's a little more--about $100 million shy of what you ought to 
be under the No Child Left Behind Act to help your education system 
here. So I complain about that. I've argued that we should fully fund 
it. The President says I've changed my mind. I haven't

[[Page 2290]]

changed my mind. I'm going to fully fund it. So these are the 
    Now, the President has presided over the economy where we've lost 
1.6 million jobs, the first President in 72 years to lose jobs. I have a 
plan to put people back to work. That's not wishy-washy. I'm going to 
close the loopholes that actually encourage companies to go overseas. 
The President wants to keep them open. I think I'm right. I think he's 
    I'm going to give you a tax cut. The President gave--the top one 
percent of income earners in America got $89 billion last year, more 
than the 80 percent of people who earn $100,000 or less all put 
together. I think that's wrong. That's not wishy-washy, and that's what 
I'm fighting for--you.
    Mr. Gibson. Mr. President, a minute and a half.
    President Bush. Charlie, thank you, and thank our panelists. 
Senator, thank you. I can--and thanks, Washington U. as well.
    I can see why people at your workplace think he changes positions a 
lot, because he does. He said he voted for the $87 billion and--or voted 
against it right before he voted for it. And that sends a confusing 
signal to people. He said he thought Saddam Hussein was a grave threat 
and now said it was a mistake to remove Saddam Hussein from power. No, I 
can see why people think that he changes position quite often, because 
he does.
    You know, for a while, he was a strong supporter of getting rid of 
Saddam Hussein. He saw the wisdom, until the Democratic primary came 
along and Howard Dean, the antiwar candidate, began to gain on him. And 
he changed positions. I don't see how you can lead this country in a 
time of war, in a time of uncertainty, if you change your mind because 
of politics.
    He just brought up the tax cut. You remember, we increased that 
child credit by $1000, reduced the marriage penalty, created a 10-
percent tax bracket for the lower income Americans--that's right at the 
middle class. He voted against it, and yet he tells you he's for a 
middle-class tax cut. It's--you've got to be consistent when you're the 
President. There's a lot of pressures, and you've got to be firm and 
    Mr. Gibson. Mr. President, I would follow up, but we have a series 
of questions on Iraq, and so I will turn to the next questioner. The 
question for President Bush, and the questioner is Robin Dahle.

Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction

    Robin Dahle. Mr. President----
    Mr. Gibson. Can you get a microphone, Robin, I'm sorry.
    Mr. Dahle. Mr. President, yesterday in a statement you admitted that 
Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction but justified the invasion 
by stating, I quote, ``He retained the knowledge, the materials, the 
means, and the intent to produce weapons of mass destruction and could 
have passed this knowledge to our terrorist enemies.'' Do you sincerely 
believe this to be a reasonable justification for invasion when this 
statement applies to so many other countries, including North Korea?
    President Bush. Each situation is different, Robin. And obviously, 
we hope that diplomacy works before you ever use force. The hardest 
decision a President makes is ever to use force.
    After 9/11, we had to look at the world differently. After 9/11, we 
had to recognize that when we saw a threat, we must take it seriously 
before it comes to hurt us. In the old days, we'd see a threat, and we 
could deal with it if we felt like it or not. But 9/11 changed it all.
    I vowed to our countrymen that I would do everything I could to 
protect the American people. That's why we're bringing Al Qaida to 
justice. Seventy-five percent of them have been brought to justice. 
That's why I said to Afghanistan, ``If you harbor a terrorist, you're 
just as guilty as the terrorist.'' And the Taliban is no longer in 
power, and Al Qaida no longer has a place to plan.
    And I saw a unique threat in Saddam Hussein, as did my opponent, 
because we thought he had weapons of mass destruction. And the unique 
threat was that he could give weapons of mass destruction to an 
organization like Al Qaida, and the harm they inflicted on us with 
airplanes would be multiplied greatly by weapons of mass destruction. 
And that was a serious, serious threat.

[[Page 2291]]

    So I tried diplomacy. I went to the United Nations. But as we 
learned in the same report I quoted, Saddam Hussein was gaming the Oil 
for Food Programme to get rid of sanctions. He was trying to get rid of 
sanctions for a reason. He wanted to restart his weapons programs.
    We all thought there was weapons there, Robin. My opponent thought 
there was weapons there. That's why he called him a grave threat. I 
wasn't happy when we found out there wasn't weapons, and we've got an 
intelligence group together to figure out why. But Saddam Hussein was a 
unique threat, and the world is better off without him in power. And my 

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