McClellan At WH Briefing Asked If Any Bushes are in Military

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By: E&P Staff

Another day, another grilling in the White House briefing room for Press Secretary Scott McClellan on the Iraq war and related issues. Today, the falling military recruitment rate came to the fore, along with the Bush family’s current contribution to the military effort.

From the transcript:

Q Is the President concerned about the recruitment being down in his home country, he can’t get — you know, some day you may give a war and no one will come? And, also, the second part of the question, is there any member of the Bush clan who is in the military service now, that you know of?

MR. McCLELLAN: I’d have to go check; that’s a pretty large clan, as you —

Q Would you do that?

MR. McCLELLAN: — as you referred to. In terms of — and certainly there are members of the family that have served and served very admirably in the Armed Forces.

Q I’m not talking about the past, I’m talking about now.

MR. McCLELLAN: And in terms of your question on recruitment and the recruiting efforts, I think the Department of Defense has briefed on that recently and they’ve talked about their efforts to address some of the concerns that you bring up. I would refer you —

Q I asked if the President was concerned.

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, it’s something he talks to his military leaders about, and they keep him apprised of their efforts.

Q Is the President concerned?

MR. McCLELLAN: I’m sorry?

Q Is the President concerned?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, it’s something he’s kept apprised about, but I think you ought to look at the Department of Defense, and the way they have characterized it is the way I would….characterize it. They briefed on it recently, and they talked about their efforts to do a better job of recruiting people to volunteer for the military forces.

***
Reporters also returned to the question of whether the president agreed with Vice President Cheney’s recent statement that the insurgency in Iraq was in its final “throes.” This marked at least the third time in the past week they had pressed this question.

From the transcript:

Q Scott, can we get a clear “yes” or “no” answer on whether the President agrees on the Vice President’s assessment that the insurgency is in “its last throes?” Is it a “yes” or “no”?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think I already answered this question the last couple of days.

Q Is it “yes” or is it “no”?

MR. McCLELLAN: And I’ve talked about it the last couple of days. If you look — if you look at the terrorists and the regime elements that are seeking to derail the transition to democracy, they are in a desperate mode, and here’s why. Let me walk you through this.

First of all, I think, to begin with, you ought to go back and look back at the full context of the Vice President’s remarks, where he talked about the progress we’re making to go after and capture al Qaeda elements that are inside Iraq — like Zarqawi lieutenants. Just last week, we captured one of his top lieutenants, a very dangerous man who is responsible for the killing of a lot of innocent civilians inside Iraq….

So I think you have to look at the facts on the ground. And the facts on the ground show that the Iraqi people are making important progress on the political front to build a free and democratic future. The vision of the terrorists is one of chaos and destruction. They really have no vision. Their only alternative is chaos and destruction and the killing of innocent civilians.

And that’s what I talked about yesterday. They, every step of the way, have not been able to stop the progress that the Iraqi people are making on the political front. And they are being defeated and they will be defeated.

Q So that’s a “yes”?

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, I said that. I said that the other day.




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