CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
President to Make First Appearance Since Elections
Aired November 7, 2002 - 13:59 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: We are moments away from the president's first appearance in front of the cameras since Tuesday's midterm election. President Bush's news conference follows a day of silence, essentially, in the public eye in the wake of his party's remarkable showing in the midterm elections. His spokesman say the president wanted to graciously avoid rubbing salt in the Democrat's wounds. Today he's expected to showcase his legislative agenda.
CNN's John King joins us now live from where that briefing is going to take place.
What do we expect -- John.
JOHN KING, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Marty. They're announcing here that the president is two minutes away from coming in here to the conference room at the Old Executive Office Building. They call it is the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
As you noted, the president was silent yesterday. This a chance for Mr. Bush to seize the agenda, if you will, to react to the elections. We are told Mr. Bush will follow his own advice to his senior staff: no gloating, but certainly a chance for the president to celebrate the Republican victories and to make clear what he expects from the Congress in the near future. There will be a lame duck session beginning next week, and then when the new, all Republican Congress, convenes in January.
Look for the president to say Homeland Security, the new Department of Homeland Security, and terrorism insurance are his top priorities for the lame duck session. Then look for the president to outline a more ambitious agenda for the new year, including making permanent the 10-year tax cut passed last year. Mr. Bush also wants an energy bill -- that's quite a controversial one because it proposes to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
The Republicans now control the House and the Senate. Mr. Bush is in as strong a position as has been in his presidency when it comes to selling his agenda. Of course, Marty, that presents some problems for the administration as well because the Republicans and this president now have the complete responsibility for governing the country -- Marty.
SAVIDGE: John, you tell us when you've got to step out of the way. We don't want to upstage the president.
But how quickly is the president thinking he can start work on this ambitious agenda? KING: He's already working on his State of the Union address he will deliver in January, already reaching out and meeting with Republican leaders in the Congress.
I'm going to begin to sit down so the president can come into the room behind me.
But the staff already working quite ambitiously and aggressively on this agenda. Some of it is left over from the Congress that just ended. The Democrats in the Senate held up a great deal of the president's priorities. So some of it will be familiar to the American people. But we also are told to look for a new economic package from the president, targeted tax cuts for small businesses, some items to help investors who might be a bit nervous about investing in the stock market right now. So they have been working at this and the president's State of the Union address in January will be the unveiling of it, but you will see pieces of it, especially next week when Congress comes back next week for that lame duck session.
SAVIDGE: All right, John.
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