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Bush: Economy is Recovering

Aired August 13, 2003 - 19:10   ET

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

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: The president today met with several top advisers on an issue that promises to be at the forefront of the presidential campaign. Jobs.
The U.S. economy has lost three million jobs since President Bush took office. Today he said the economic steps he's taken are strong enough to start creating jobs.

White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux joins us now from Crawford, Texas -- Suzanne.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, it was really a high-powered meeting. His economic team earlier in Crawford at the ranch there meeting with secretaries of treasury, commerce and labor.

The message from the Bush administration today is that the worst is over, that the economy is on the mend. We're seeing productivity go up, retail sales go up, as well as jobless claims go down.

And the president saying that he need additional help from Congress. He wants some initiatives passed, tort reform, a new energy policy as well as some fiscal restraint.

The big news of the day is the president argued that there will not need another tax cut, that already the tax cut, the $350 billion, is at work.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Things change in the economy, as you know, but as of this moment we feel like the plans we have in place are robust enough to create jobs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: Now, I spoke with treasury secretary John Snow, who says be patient, it will take some time.

But of course, the Bush administration very much aware of the political aspects of this. It is the top topic when it comes to re- election. Some 57 percent say that this is the most important issue for them. Democrats as well as some economists saying that they're criticizing the Bush administration, saying that he has lost some three million in his tenure, $455 billion deficit that they're looking at. And the problem with the federal deficit is that it will be hard in the long term for the government to pay perhaps for Social Security, Medicare, as well as Medicaid -- Anderson.

COOPER: Suzanne, I understand the president's been getting a lot of questions or queries about Arnold Schwarzenegger?

MALVEAUX: Absolutely. He can't escape that. He's actually going to be in California for the next couple of days. His aides are really trying to stay out of the political fray until they say this circus atmosphere dies down.

The president was asked earlier today is it difficult not to say anything about this, one of the hottest topics in political races in the country? And the president took issue with that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: Well, I think there's maybe other political stories. Isn't there, like, a presidential race coming up?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: So hard to be upstaged by Arnold Schwarzenegger, but he's trying to take it on the chin -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Suzanne Malveaux, thanks very much.

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