MR. SNOW: I believe there will be hundred degree club activities later in the afternoon.I did a google search and here's what I found...it seems to be a group of folks who exercise in over 100 degree weather:
Q I see, not some presidential appearance that we're going to be summoned to?
MR. SNOW: Not that I'm aware of.
Q Will you report back to us --
MR. SNOW: If you are summoned, we will make sure that you are duly informed.
Q We'll expect a full report on the hundred degree club.
Q Any new hundred-degree club members?Incidentially, from that same press availability, we see some interesting quotes from 100 days post start of the Iraq conflagration:
THE PRESIDENT: Yesterday we added one.
Q Do we know him?
THE PRESIDENT: A Secret Service agent.
Q Are you going running today?
THE PRESIDENT: No, I'm not.
Q Did Dick Cheney catch anything?
THE PRESIDENT: Dick Cheney is a great fly fisherman. (Laughter.)
THE VICE PRESIDENT: But not a member of the hundred-degree club. (Laughter.)
Q To be specific, no Saddam, no weapons, 56 soldiers have died in this hundred days --
THE PRESIDENT: Right.
Q -- including one last night. What can you tell the American people about how many more soldiers will die? And, also, your commander in Iraq said yesterday: two years, absolute minimum. Is that an assessment you share?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, we suffer when we lose life. I mean, our country is a country that grieves with those who sacrifice and our heartfelt sympathies and appreciation go to the loved ones of any soldier who's willing to defend the security of the United States -- and that's what they're doing in Iraq. It's very important to people to understand that this is a part of the war on terror, that we're dealing with terrorists today.
We learned a lesson on September the 11th, and that is, our nation is vulnerable to attack. And we're doing everything we can to protect the homeland by making the homeland defense department effective and securing the borders. But the best way to secure America is to get the enemy before they get us. And that's what's happening in Iraq. And we're grateful for the sacrifices of our soldiers.
I said, Scott, right after September the 11th, that this war on terror is a different kind of war, and it's going to take a while to win the war on terror. However long it takes to win the war on terror, this administration is committed to doing that, because our most solemn obligation is the protection of the American people.
And as I said, the Secretary and I discussed what's happening inside of Iraq and we've got a lot of brave soldiers, slowly but surely demolishing the elements of the Baathist regime, those foreign terrorists who feel like they can use Iraq as a place to arm up and inflict casualty or perhaps gain strength to come and attack Americans elsewhere.
We've been there a hundred days. We've made a lot of progress in a hundred days, and I am pleased with the progress we've made, but fully recognize we've got a lot more work to do.
Do you want to add to that, Mr. Secretary?
SECRETARY RUMSFELD: No, sir. (Laughter.)...
...Q Mr. President, what's your response to the Democrats, including Al Gore yesterday, and some of the Democratic presidential candidates, who say that the American people were misled in advance of the war about the reasons for going to war -- that you said, disarming Iraq was the main purpose, but since then, no weapons of mass destruction have been found?
THE PRESIDENT: I say it's pure politics.
Listen, thank you all. Have a beautiful day.
Q Do you want to say more than that?
THE PRESIDENT: No, it's just pure politics. We've got a lot of people running for President and it's pure politics. The American people know that we laid out the facts, we based the decision on sound intelligence and they also know we've only been there for a hundred days. And we're making progress. A free Iraq is necessary for a -- is an integral part of the war on terror. And as far as all this political noise, it's going to get worse as time goes on, and I fully understand that. And that's just the nature of democracy. Sometimes pure politics enters into the rhetoric.