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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

President and the Pats

Aired April 2, 2002 - 11:25   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.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know how you feel.

(LAUGHTER)

As a matter of fact, the Patriots -- I learned an interesting lesson. I remember watching all the experts talk about the Super Bowl; no one thought they'd win. They learned what I learned, that in politics and sports, the experts are often wrong. I was really impressed by the character of this team.

Most of all, I obviously watched the game. I was amazed at the play and how they won. For a guy growing up in Texas that snow game looked pretty rough.

But I know all the Patriot fans were thrilled with that game and the Super Bowl. I know you've got some great fans here, obviously members of the Congress who are great friends.

It's good to see Senator Kennedy, Senator Jeffords who are here. I don't know if any members of the Congress are here as well, but I want to thank you both for coming.

I was impressed by a lot, but let me tell you, what impressed me most was when the team took to the field prior to the Super Bowl, it wasn't one of these things when the spotlight was on any individual. Everybody went out at the same time. I thought that was a pretty good signal to America that teamwork is important, that the individual matters to the team but the team is bigger than the individual.

That's one of the things I try to explain to people in Washington, that we're here to serve something greater than ourself. And I appreciate so very much that signal to the country.

I remember watching the early Patriots there in Houston when they came down the AFL. I remember Gino Cappeletti (ph), and Gino Cappeletti said this about this team -- I think you probably remember Gino Cappeletti, don't you, Senator Kennedy? You were around in those days, barely, but around -- I think every guy that every played for the Patriots would be proud of this bunch.

They are not only a team with great heart and toughness. They're also a good group of guys. They were champs on the field, and more importantly, champs off the field. By sending not only a clear message about the importance of teamwork, but about the importance of serving something greater than yourself in life whether it be the Salvation Army in the Boston area or the after-school programs so some child realizes somebody cares about them, or how they conduct their own home life, is just as important to me and America for that matter than winning on the football field.

So it's an honor to welcome true football champs but as well really fine Americans to the Rose Garden. Congratulations.

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll keep it real short.

Mr. President, the team would like to present with you an autographed ball from the Super Bowl Championship, New England Patriots.

BUSH: Thank you sir. That is short.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

(UNKNOWN): Thank you.

BUSH: Congratulations.

KAGAN: Watching the presentation in the Rose Garden, President Bush and the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. There were 70- 1 odds against them to win the Super Bowl when the season started.

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