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American people see that. Well, I hope they something unilaterally on that; I've already do.
Q. Well, you speak with two voices here, though. Cheney [Secretary of Defense] talks about it being dangerous and fallacious to play ball with the Soviets, and you are saying we want to see us succeed. You know, there is a dichotomy there.
The President. We speak with one voice. Cheney's voice is loud and clear. And he's saying, Don't do something dumb. Don't make the mistake of unilaterally disarming-knocking out significant strategic modernization programs at the very minute that the Soviet Union is going forward on the modernization front. And that's good advice for the President of the United States, and believe me, it is needed and good advice for the Congress of the United States.
So I take that into consideration. And we're trying to have a strong defense program that is prudent and realistic and not based on some euphoric hope that there are no differences between these countries.
But back to the question. When you have a civil climate you can discuss things much more easily with the Soviets today.
Q. Mr. President, are you willing to do away with chemical weapons if the Soviet Union goes along with that, just like they proposed yesterday, even as you negotiate an international treaty?
The President. No, absolutely not.
The President. I said what we're willing to do. We need a certain sense of deterrence, and we need to have some leverage to get a lot of other proliferating countries to do what I think the world cries out forenter into an agreement to ban them all. It was like the argument on the INF. Do you remember a few years ago—on INF weapons? People were saying, Don't deploy, that will disrupt all negotiations. We went forward, we deployed, and then we got an agreement to eliminate them all. It's the same theory involved there.
Q. But, surely, there are other weapons that would act as a deterrent other than chemical weapons to those countries.
The President. Well, let's sell that idea to these other countries, and I think you're onto something. But I'm not going to do
said what we're going to do. And we're prepared to sit down and talk to the Soviets about it. But I think in the final analysis that we're pretty close to agreement on the principles that I enunciated the other day. And the fact that they come back, I view that as very positive. I don't view that as one-upmanship of some sort in arms control. I think it's a very positive manifestation of what I'm talking about, about a more civil climate here.
Q. Mr. President, on the capital gains, if I could return for a minute, you've repeatedly cited John Kennedy's support for a cut in the capital gains tax. But another thing that he wanted to do was to close the loophole which allowed gains at death to go untaxed. Do you feel that as this has come up as an issue that it's fair to have that continue? The President. I haven't even thought about that, I'll be honest with you.
Q. It would raise $5 billion a year.
The President. I hadn't thought about it. And we're talking here about not dismantling tax reform or going into an opening of every tax provision. Maybe my sense of history isn't as acute as it should be, but I just don't remember that as far as the Kennedy program. I'm not questioning it, I just don't know.
There are a lot of other revenue-raisers people will be proposing. But I think we've got an overall tax reform plan. There are some exceptions that I've proposed, and I would leave that one to the Congress right now. But I'd have to look very carefully before I could say I could support it. Drug Summit
Q. The meeting with President Barco [Colombia] tomorrow, sir. Are you going to be sending a drug summit?
The President. Oh, I don't know-Brent [Brent Scowcroft, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs]-whether we've-where is the General-or, Bob [Robert Gates, Assistant to the President and Deputy for National Security Affairs]whether we've talked about at this meeting setting a drug summit. I've already talked to Barco about a high-level drug meeting with the Presidents of various countries.
But whether we'll set it tomorrow there, I just-I have not discussed it with him personally. And I've had-talked to him yesterday, or talked to him the day before. But I'll be very interested in his view on it and how that could affect-the timing of which, how that could help on this fight.
Q. Do you have a view of when and where it should be, and which countries it should include, sir?
The President. No, we don't. And again, I'm anxious to get his views. I expect the subject will come up because we've given― I believe we've given support to it. I know I feel that it would be a constructive thing. But we're a little-we haven't really set the exact timing of it.
I'll tell you, in Costa Rica I will be meeting with many of the leaders from South America and the Caribbean. And I think that might be a time when we could get a lot of other views as to timing, who should attend, and-but it's not set.
Threats Against the President and His
Q. Mr. President, there's a report in Newsday today that the drug lords are threatening to kidnap one of your children if they're not granted amnesty
The President. If what?
Q. If they're not granted amnesty, if the drug lords aren't granted amnesty. Earlier, you said—when this question arose, you said you didn't have any information on that
The President. Yes. I hadn't.
Q. Do you have any information about what Newsday says is this threat?
The President. I do not. And I have a feeling that that matter is of enough interest to me that it would have been brought to my attention. And I don't mean to be complacent, but I have confidence in our intelligence community. I have confidence in the international cooperation on intelligence; sometimes I wish it were more. And I have confidence in the Secret Service and their ability to do their job. So I don't live in fear of anything like this, but, Terry, I've not heard that, and I feel confident I would have if there had been some-what I would call "hard intelligence." I can't do my job if I get deterred by rumors or-I think I'd know that if there was something seri
Q. But you have increased security, and your children now all have it when they had declined it.
The President. Yes. Varying degrees. And I don't discuss it because I think one of the contradictions in an open society is, I can understand everybody's interest in knowing every detail, but I can also understand the security system's desire that every detail not be known. I think security is better in that way. But that, Helen [Helen Thomas, United Press International]—to the degree security has been stepped up in accordance with the law and the Bush kids, it is not because of a specific, hard piece of intelligence, hard threat. And I'm confident of that. My problem is, would I tell you if I weren't? But I am confident of that. And I'm confident that I gave you the right answer because I think I would have known that.
Q. You may be the last to know. I'm teasing.
The President. Well, no. But I can see why somebody would want to
Q. Save you from fears.
The President. Well, but we have a close family and people are-they don't like it when families get-you know, have some threat. But it's not-I want to just assure people that there isn't-we are not living under that kind of a threat.
Thank you all. Any more questions on education? [Laughter]
The Chicago Cubs
Q. What about the Cubs, Mr. President? The Chicago Cubs?
The President. Oh, the Cubs?
Q. Yes. Is it their turn?
The President. It's fantastic. The debate over lights at Wrigley Field have given way to euphoria over winning. That's my comment. You heard it right here in the Oval Office first.
Q. So you think the lights did it?
The President. What I'm trying to do is figure out how to get to a game. Either American League or National League playoff or a World Series game.
Q. Are you committed to going to at least one, Mr. President?
The President. Not committed, but trying hard to figure it out.
Q. You have to take [former Reagan Press could pose to individual liberty and the free Secretary] Jim Brady with you.
The President. Oh, to go see a Cubs
Q. Who is going to win that American League East race?
The President. Well, I've given up on the Rangers. [Laughter]
Note: The President spoke at 10:35 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House.
Proclamation 6029-Religious Freedom Week, 1989
September 27, 1989
By the President of the United States of America
Our Nation's commitment to the principle of religious liberty has not only been enshrined in law but also faithfully upheld by generations of Americans. The first men and women to settle in America came to this country in search of the opportunity to worship God freely. Since then, this country has been a haven for millions of people seeking refuge from religious persecution. Indeed, in our pluralistic society, where the adherents of different religions must live together along with others who profess no religion at all, toleration has been a practical necessity as well as a moral imperative. This week, we acknowledge the importance of religious freedom and tolerance to each American and to our entire Nation.
The most celebrated guarantee of religious liberty in U.S. law is contained in the First Amendment to the Constitution, which states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.' Yet even before the First Amendment was written, the Constitution provided that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." The leaders who shaped our system of government were men of great faith and foresight-and they recognized the various dangers government
exercise of religious beliefs.
Before the Constitution was drafted, the State of Virginia provided, in a statute drafted by Thomas Jefferson, "that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities." Jefferson considered his authorship of this statute so important that he chose to have it noted in his epitaph.
Throughout the history of the United States, the free exercise of religion has contributed not only to the welfare of individual believers but also to the strength of our Nation. The American people's faith in God-unencumbered by legal restrictions and untainted by government interference has been a powerful force for maintaining high standards of morality and justice in our society. Because bigotry and indifference pose an ever-present danger to religious liberty everywhere, toleration must be for us not just a matter of legal decree binding the government, but a matter of moral conviction enjoining each of us to respect the rights and beliefs of others.
Tragically, in many nations-especially those that suffer under the dark shadow of totalitarian rule-the rights of believers are systematically denied. And in too many countries around the world, animosities and hatreds often lead to civil unrest or violence. Thus, we Americans should be thankful for the religious freedom we so enjoy and also remain fully committed to defending this fundamental human right any time, any place, it is threatened or denied.
Nearly 200 years ago, in his now famous reply to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, President Washington declared that the Government of the United States "gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance." This week, let us rededicate ourselves as individuals and as a Nation— to that noble vision.
In recognition of the importance of religious freedom and the spirit of tolerance, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 146, has designated the week beginning September 24, 1989, as “Religious Freedom Week."
Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning September 24, 1989, as Religious Freedom Week. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities, and I urge them to reaffirm their devotion to the principles of religious freedom.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-seventh day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fourteenth.
Nomination of E. Donald Elliott To Be an Assistant Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency September 27, 1989
The President today announced his intention to nominate E. Donald Elliott to be an Assistant Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (General Counsel). He would succeed Lawrence J. Jensen.
Since 1984 Mr. Elliott has served as a professor of law at Yale Law School in New Haven, CT. Prior to this, he was an associate professor at Yale Law School, 19811984. Mr. Elliott also served as a visiting professor of law at Georgetown University, 1986-1987.
Mr. Elliott graduated from Yale College (B.A., 1970) and Yale Law School (J.D.,
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Regis- 1974). He was born April 4, 1948, in Chicater, 10:47 a.m., September 28, 1989]
go, IL. He is married, has two children, and currently resides in New Haven, CT.
Nomination of Bruce L. Gardner To Be an Assistant Secretary of Agriculture September 27, 1989
The President today announced his intention to nominate Bruce L. Gardner to be an Assistant Secretary of Agriculture (Economics). He would succeed Ewen Wilson.
Since 1981 Dr. Gardner has served as a professor in the department of agriculture and resource economics at the University of Maryland. Prior to this, he was a visiting fellow at the Center for the Study of the Economy and the State at the University of Chicago, 1980-1981, and a professor of agricultural economics at Texas A&M University, 1977–1980.
Dr. Gardner graduated from the University of Illinois (B.S., 1964) and the University of Chicago (Ph.D., 1968). He was born August 31, 1942, in Woodstock, IL. Dr. Gardner is married, has two children, and currently resides in Bethesda, MD.
Nomination of Barbara E. Bryant To Be Director of the Bureau of the Census September 27, 1989
The President today announced his intention to nominate Barbara Everitt Bryant to be Director of the Census at the Department of Commerce. She would succeed John G. Keane.
Since 1977 Dr. Bryant has served as senior vice president of Market Opinion Research in Detroit, MI. Prior to this, she served at Market Opinion Research as vice president for social research, 1971-1977, and as a senior analyst, 1970.
Dr. Bryant graduated from Cornell University (A.B., 1947) and Michigan State University (M.A., 1967; Ph.D., 1970). She was born January 5, 1926, in Ann Arbor, MI. Dr. Bryant is married, has three children, and currently resides in Ann Arbor, MI.
Nomination of Bernard E. DeLury To
The President today announced his intention to nominate Bernard E. DeLury to be Federal Mediation and Conciliation Director. He would succeed Kay McMurray.
Since 1985 Mr. DeLury has served as the staff vice president for labor relations at the Sea-Land Corp. in Iselin, NJ. Prior to this, he served with the Sea-Land Corp. as the corporate vice president of personnel, 1982-1985, and as the director of labor relations, 1977-1982. Mr. DeLury served at the Department of Labor in Washington, DC as an Assistant Secretary of Labor at the Labor-Management Relations Administration, 1976-1977, and as the Assistant Secretary of Labor at the Employment Standards Administration, 1973-1976.
Mr. DeLury graduated from St. John's University (B.A., 1960) and C.W. Post College (M.A., 1974). He served in the New York State National Guard Army Reserve,
1956-1963. Mr. DeLury was born on April 1, 1938, in Brooklyn, NY. He is married, has five children, and currently resides in Colts Neck, NJ.
Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater
The President met with Menem of Argentina in the Oval Office for approximately 45 minutes. The President noted President Menem's determination in dealing with Argentina's economic crisis and stated U.S. support for his program. They discussed the Government of Argentina's overtures to normalize relations with the United Kingdom. The President stated that the U.S. is pleased that two of our friends are engaged in a direct dialog and expressed the hope that this process will lead to full normalization of relations in the near future.
The two Presidents discussed the drug problem and underscored a mutual desire in combating the drug scourge. They also discussed the situation in Panama and the urgent need for a return to full democracy. The President noted that the U.S. shares with the people of Argentina a strong desire for freedom and democracy and expressed the hope that this visit will strengthen even further the close bond between our two countries.
Remarks at the Education Summit
Thank you all for that warm welcome. Secretary Cavazos, thank you, sir, and to the other members of the Cabinet. And Governor Branstad, and Governors Clinton and Campbell, all the Governors. [University of Virginia] President O'Neil especially, who is moving out of his house so Barbara and I can stay there-beyond the call of