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Special Event

President Clinton Holds News Conference Regarding White House Conference on Computer Hacking and Northern Ireland Peace Process

Aired February 11, 2000 - 11:04 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BILL TUCKER, CNN ANCHOR: We have a developing story down in Washington. Let's go to President Clinton live.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... all the parties do it on terms which do not allow a backsliding. And that we -- that that the opportunity be taken to figure out a way forward that again will allow everybody to meet all the requirements that the Irish voters voted for in breathtaking (inaudible).

I don't want to say anything else until we know how this plays out today. This is just -- it's a -- we've got a few more hours here. After we see how it's resolved today, I will say a little more. But I have to be very careful. I've been working very hard on this and I want to be a positive, not a negative factor.

Yes.

QUESTION: This is a tough political question that I hope all of your returning guests can appreciate. You've probably heard of the expression "Clinton fatigue." And I'm wondering what you think of that as a phenomenon and whether that will have some bearing on your -- you know, how many people you go out to campaign for in this election year.

CLINTON: Well, I get tired from time to time. That's the only one I'm familiar with.

(LAUGHTER)

I don't even know how to comment on that. I've got more requests right now to help than I can fulfill. And I think what I will be inclined to do is to -- I always feel that people running for office are the best judge of what's in their own interest, not me. And I got plenty to do here.

But so far, I've been asked to do more events then I can do. And I had -- you know, I went down to the Rio Grande Valley this week, for example, a place that I was the first president since Dwight Eisenhower to visit, and I made my third visit down there. I had a wonderful reception. But I can't comment on that. I think that my guess is that will vary from state to state and congressional district to congressional district. I'll just -- I'll do what I can to help the people and the causes I believe, but I don't want to get in the way.

I also find that the ability of any outsider to effect, in a positive way, the course of an election, is far more limited then is generally supposed. The voters understand that every election year they get to be in control again. And so, when you -- if you notice, like when I went to campaign for Mr. Freed (ph) in Philadelphia, a place that has been enormously good to me, I was very careful in what I said to the voters. I said, you shouldn't be for him because I am. But you know I am your friend, here are my reasons. I hope you'll listen to my reasons and make up your own mind.

It's a very delicate thing. I've watched this for years. I remember once, Jim Brady's old boss, President Reagan, in '84, when he was winning every vote in America, came to Arkansas and made an appearance for my opponent. And afterward, on election day, he got 62 percent of the vote and so did I.

(LAUGHTER)

So, you know, you have to be very -- you got to be humble in these things, and just sort of show up for work every day.

Thank you.

TUCKER: No Dow, no Microsoft.

TERRY KEENAN, CNN ANCHOR: OK, you've been listening to President Clinton who's taking some questions initially on news that there will be a White House conference next week to address the situation regarding the computer hacking incidents that have crippled some of the nation's top Web sites in recent weeks.

TUCKER: And the answer that we picked up on, by the way, was in regards to questions about the Irish peace agreement, the president obviously reluctant to say anything, saying that he felt it better that he stay out of the process and let things resolve themselves with -- in a positive way.

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