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Clinton: Elian Gonzalez Case 'About the Rule of Law'Aired April 13, 2000 - 12:23 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN ANCHOR: President Clinton has been speaking to newspaper publishers, let's listen to his comments.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... she knows a lot of people involved in this. She went there. She is trying to handle this personally.
She hopes and I still hope it won't come to that, and since she's on site and events are unfolding almost by the minute, I think I should let her address what we are going to do, and when we are going to do it from the site. I think that's the best thing to do because I haven't talked to her today about it.
Let me just say I think that the issue here for me is the rule of law. We have a system, the system has -- if you don't think it's right, then you can say, well, we ought to change the laws, but we have legal system, and it has been followed. And the decision that was made that Elian Gonzalez's father was a devoted and fit father and could properly speak for his son, and therefore to make decisions for his minor son, was ratified in a district court and is now on appeal to the court of appeals.
But none of the courts have granted any kind of interim relief which would justify opposition to the plain rule of law. So to me, this case is about the rule of law. I have done everything I could to stay out of it, to avoid politicizing it. But I do believe that it is our responsibility to uphold the law and we're doing our best to do that.
MESERVE: ... paper editors saying that he would defer on today's developments to Attorney General Janet Reno, who is in Miami, but saying, to him, this case is about the rule of law, that he has tried not to politicize this case, and stay out of it as best he could.
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