Thursday, February 09, 2006

They Are Not Going To Admit They Are Playing Politics

The W, Rove and Co. shakes a mean finger at people who "play politics," but certainly would never admit any wrong doing in that or any other category, now would they?
QScott, was it the President's intention today to draw a link in the public's mind between the NSA program and the bombing plots -- or the --

MR. McCLELLAN: No. In fact, I addressed that earlier. That was not the purpose. The purpose of this speech was to highlight for the American people the successful international cooperation that is going on in the war on terrorism. And that's why he talked about this specific plot, because it's a great example for the American people to understand the kind of success that is being achieved by working with our international partners.

Q So he would have -- in talking about how the speech was in preparation for some time, he would have brought this up regardless of the fact that the hearings were today and --

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, this is a speech we've been working on for the last three weeks, Peter, and I would -- as I think indicated to Jim, in response to his question, I would discourage you from thinking it was some other purpose than the way I described it, because the President has been giving speeches over the course of the last several months, and even before that, on the war on terrorism. And this builds upon those speeches that he's been giving. It's part of our discussion with the American people about what is the number one priority, which is protecting them from attacks and prevailing in the war on terrorism.

Q One other question. It's still the belief of the White House that, as Karl Rove stated a few weeks ago, that this issue works well politically for Republicans, that the NSA program, the more it's discussed, the more it helps Republicans?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the NSA terrorist surveillance program is a vital tool. It has been a valuable tool in helping us to protect the American people. General Hayden has talked about it; Director Negroponte has talked about it. These are our top intelligence officials. I think Director Mueller talked about it in testimony last week, as well. It has been a successful program, and it is one tool in the whole tool box that we have available to us to help prevent attacks.

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