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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Bush Speaks on Welfare Reform

Aired July 29, 2002 - 11:00   ET

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


LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: We want to take you now live here at the top of the hour to Charleston, South Carolina. President Bush there making remarks.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm still listening.

I am so honored that Tommy traveled down with me. You know, Tommy and I were fellow governors. I knew he had a good record as the governor of Wisconsin in helping move people from welfare to work, so that when I won (ph), I asked Tommy to join us as the Cabinet secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services because I know his passion for helping people in need and I know his philosophy, and so I want to thank Tommy for agreeing to leave the life he had there in Wisconsin and moving to Washington, D.C., and serving our nation with such class and such distinction.

I appreciate you, Mr. Secretary.

(APPLAUSE)

And I want to thank some of the members of the mighty South Carolina congressional delegation who have joined us here today.

(APPLAUSE)

Congressmen Brown, Wilson, Graham and DeMint, who represent your state with such class, and I appreciate you all coming.

(APPLAUSE)

And it's good to see that my friend, the lieutenant governor, Bob Peeler is here with us as well.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you, Bob, appreciate you coming.

And I want to give a special thanks to Bob Olson (ph), the principal of this high school.

(APPLAUSE)

I know it's not easy to host a presidential visit. The entourages are quite large, but you all have done a fabulous job. It's such an honor to be here in this high school.

I want to thank you for -- Bob, you, and the teachers, all of the folks who work here -- for being involved in education.

There's nothing more important to make sure that every single child in America gets a quality education.

(APPLAUSE)

I just had what they call a roundtable discussion about some of the programs that are taking place here in South Carolina, programs all aimed at helping people help themselves.

I don't have time to go through all of the stories, but there are some remarkable people that have joined us today, those who have worked hard to get off welfare to succeed, and those kind, compassionate souls who are helping them. And I want to thank the participants for coming today. I really appreciate our discussions.

I also met Steve Riggs (ph), who is a volunteer here in South Carolina. He came out to Air Force One. Steve's (ph) job, as a volunteer, is to work with the South Carolina Military Department which reenacts moments of American history.

Steve (ph) believes it's important to teach history -- live history, and history through people wearing uniforms, so they can see history come to life. He believes it's important to teach our youngsters values that they can hold dear for the rest of their life.

Steve (ph) decided to do this on his own. It didn't require any government edict or any proclamation. He's a volunteer to make South Carolina the best state it can be, and I'm honored you're with us today, Steve (ph). Thank you for coming.

(APPLAUSE)

The reason I like to talk about people like Steve (ph) and many of the people I met this morning, they share the same concept that one person can do something to help change America, and each of us have got to be a person helping to change America.

If you want to fight evil, if you want to join the war on terror, do some good in your society. If you want to send a message to the evil ones who attacked us, one way to do so is to love your neighbor like you'd liked to be loved yourself. And that's what's happening all across America.

HARRIS: We are going to step away from the president's remarks. As we said, he's in Charleston, South Carolina there talking about that welfare reform, and people who are out there working, and we are hoping that we would get some words from him this morning about some people who were working quite hard over the weekend to try to rescue those nine miners in southwestern Pennsylvania. He may still have something to say about that, and if he does, we will go back to the president's speech.

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