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America's New War: President Says Americans Resilient

Aired September 17, 2001 - 06:19   ET

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


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: All systems go at the White House as well in Washington, D.C. today where the president plans to meet with his national security team. Also, the president calling for a vote of confidence from American consumers.

Major Garrett has more on both these issues.

Morning, Major.

MAJOR GARRETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol.

The White House is clearly on a war footing and that means many things. It means continued diplomatic talks, continued preparation for any possible military strike and it also entails the president trying to calm the nation, particularly on this very important Monday as Americans try to resume some of the routine shattered by Tuesday's events. Many children will be going back to school that was disrupted last week. Millions of American workers will be going back to work. Their weeks and all -- we all hope will not be disrupted as they were last week. And the president upon returning to the White House Sunday afternoon from Camp David tried to strike this reassuring note about his overall confidence in the resiliency and the future direction of the U.S. economy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You'd be amazed at how quickly we rebuild New York. How quickly -- how quickly people come together to really wipe away the rubble and show the world that we're still the strongest nation in the world.

But I have great faith in the resiliency of the economy, and no question about it, this incident affected our economy but the markets open tomorrow, people go back to work and we'll show the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GARRETT: Now of course, as the president tries to boost confidence in the U.S. economy, his top political, rather, diplomatic and military advisors are trying to continue to build that coalition the president has said he intends to unleash against the perpetrators of Tuesday's terrorist attacks. On "LATE EDITION" on Sunday with Wolf Blitzer, Secretary of State Colin Powell said under this new doctrine the president has articulated not only will the terrorists be held to account but the nations who supported them will be as well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: And we're going to make it clear to them that they must comply with previous directions they have received from the United Nations and other organizations to stop this, to expel this organization, to destroy this organization or to help us to destroy this organization and they will be held accountable for the support they have given to this organization if that's who we finally determine is responsible and we're going after them. They will have to make their choice whether they want to be on the receiving end of the full wrath of the United States and others or whether they want to get rid of this curse that they have within their country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GARRETT: Now all of this occurs in a completely different political environment for President Bush that he -- that he knew before the attacks on Tuesday. We have a new CNNGallop USA Today Poll showing his approval rating at 86 percent, disapproval rating only 10 percent. It's a stratospheric high for President Bush. We can see it on the screen there.

How does that compare with previous U.S. presidents? Well, the closest would be his father, George Herbert Walker Bush, who, as you can see February 1991 after the conclusion of the Gulf War, had an 89 percent approval rating.

President Bush's approval rating, though, not the product of welcome events at all here at the Bush White House. They understand the public very supportive of the president. They're also very mindful of transferring that public support into something that is long lasting and effective. And in that regard, the president and his top advisors have reminded the country repeatedly over the weekend as though they are unified, though they are supportive, though they are seeking some form of retaliation, some might even call it vengeance, the Bush administration is urging them to be patient as it puts together its overall military, diplomatic and economic strategy to first isolate then dispose of the terrorists who committed the acts last Tuesday -- Leon, Carol.

LIN: All right, Major Garrett reporting live from Washington and certainly that diplomatic pressure already being applied overseas.

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