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President Clinton Answers Questions During a Photo Opportunity in Mexico

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Trip to Mexico (1998)

Office of the Press Secretary
(Merida, Yucatan, Mexico)

For Immediate Release February 15, 1999


Hacienda Temozon
Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

Q Mr. President, do you feel vindicated by the Senate vote?Andhow do you think you will be able to overcome any damage that was caused in yourrelations with Republican leaders in Congress?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I have, really, nothing to add to what I said onFriday about that. I think this is a time for reconciliation and renewal. Ithink what we have to do is to serve the American people. And if we keepthatin mind I think everything will be fine.

We can't resolve the challenges of Social Security and Medicare,education, these other things; we can't keep the international economygoingunless we have a level of cooperation. I'm encouraged that we have anumber ofRepublican members of Congress on this trip, and I intend to do exactlywhat Isaid I'd do last Friday. And I think if everybody just keeps our eye ontheball -- which is that we are here to serve the public, and not the otherwayaround -- I think we'll be fine.

Q Mr. President, do you have any problems with the system theUnited States has for certifying drug cooperation?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, it is the law of the land, andtheSecretary of State sometime in the next few weeks will have to make arecommendation. I think the question is how can we do better to deal withthedrug problem. President Zedillo said it's his number one national securityproblem. Neither country has won the drug war. And the fundamentalquestion isare we better off fighting it together or separately, and perhaps sometimes atodds with one another.

Under General McCaffrey, who's here, we put in place a veryaggressiveantidrug strategy. Finally, we've got a lot of the indicators going in theright direction in the United States.

And cooperation with Mexico has clearly improved under President Zedillo'sleadership. The issue is what is most likely to free our children of thisscourge in the new century, and that's what will guide my decisions.

Thank you all.

Q Have you encouraged Mrs. Clinton to run for the Senate,sir?What have you said to her?

THE PRESIDENT: People in New York started calling her. I don'tthinkit had ever occurred to her before a lot of people started calling andaskingher to do it. I think she would be terrific in the Senate. But that's adecision that she'll have to make. And for reasons I'm sure you'llunderstand,she hasn't had anything like adequate time to talk to the people who thinksheshould do this, much less people who think perhaps she shouldn't. I mean,shejust hasn't had time to deal with this.

But it's her decision to make. I will support whatever decisionshemakes enthusiastically. She has a lot of other opportunities for publicservicethat will be out there, and she and I both would like to continue to beusefulin public affairs when we leave office. But it's a decision she'll have tomake. She'd be great if she did it, but she hasn't had anything like therequisite amount of time to talk to people and to assess it, and I'm surethateveryone will understand and appreciate that.

Thank you.

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The Trip of the President to Mexico - Remarks and Briefings

President Clinton Answers Questions During a Photo Opportunity in Mexico

Press Briefing From Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

Press Briefing - January 12, 1999