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Remarks by President Bush After Meeting with the House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference

Contact: White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 202-456-2580


WILLIAMSBURG, Va., Feb. 3 /Standard Newswire/ -- The following text is of remarks by President Bush after meeting with the House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference:


Kingsmill Resort and Spa

Williamsburg, Virginia

11:47 A.M. EST


THE PRESIDENT:  Speaker, thank you.  First of all, thanks for the invitation, Madam Speaker and Rahm, thank you very much.  I enjoyed sharing ideas with members of Congress.


One of the things I wanted to tell the members very clearly was, one, I appreciate their service to the country.   Oftentimes, their service and the service that their families provide is taken for granted, and I want them to know how much I appreciate a willingness to be in politics.  Politics is hard. It's hard because of the campaign; it's hard, in many cases, because of the travel.  These are hard times because of the big issues we face.  And so thank you for giving me a chance to come and share in a recognition that a lot of folks appreciate them, including the President.


Secondly, I enjoyed sharing some priorities.  My message really was that these are big goals that Democrats care about and Republicans care about, and we've got to work hard to find ways to achieve big goals.  And I also was pleased to take questions, and I thought the questions were very good and gave me a chance to share philosophy, as well as how I think we can advance some very important issues.


I met with the Speaker and Congressman Hoyer -- Steny -- quite a few times since I have been President.  We're going to


-- hopefully we will -- not hopefully -- we will continue to meet.  In my meetings I -- look, we don't always agree -- and that's why we're in different parties.  (Laughter.)  But we do agree about our country, and we do agree about the desire to work together.


And so I really appreciate you letting me come by.  I really do.  I felt welcomed.  I felt like people understood that I've got pressures on me, like I understand they have pressures on them.  And I really hope that the members out there get a sense that I bear no ill will, I bring no animosity about the fact that we may not agree on every position, and that I am appreciative of the contributions they make.


And so thanks a lot for letting me come.  I answered five or six questions.  I was able to shake hands with a lot of members.  I got to hug a few babies.  (Laughter.)  I kind of remembered -- help me remember the good old days.  (Laughter.)


SPEAKER PELOSI:  Still has the touch. 


THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I don't know.  (Laughter.)  One of the babies I got to hug was the Speaker's grandchild.  But it was a -- I would define the moment for me as relaxed, informative, and enjoyable.


So thank you very much for having me.  I appreciate it.  Thank you very much.


 END11: 51 A.M. EST