THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
Immediate Release December 19, 2000
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
AND PRESIDENT-ELECT BUSH
IN PHOTO OPPORTUNITY
The Oval Office
11:27 A.M. EST
Q What's your best advice --
THE PRESIDENT: Get a good team and do what he thinks is right.
Q Mr. President-elect, you've spoken about the economy, about
problems with the economy. Are you going to inherit a recession from
President Clinton? And President Clinton, what are your thoughts about
PRESIDENT-ELECT BUSH: I really don't have any comments. I look
forward to talking to the President. I'm so honored that he extended his
hospitality to me and my wife yesterday; he didn't need to do this and I'm
most grateful that he would do so.
Q -- what do you think about a recession?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, a recession is two quarters in a row of negative
growth. I don't think we're going to have that. But we couldn't keep up 5
percent growth a year forever. I think 49 of the 50 blue chip forecasters
think that growth will be 2.5 percent or better next year, and that will
keep unemployment low. But I think there will be things to be managed;
he'll have economic challenges and you ought to give him a chance to meet
them, if not try to figure it all out in advance.
Q Are you going to --
Q What advice do you have for him, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT: My only advice to anybody in this is just to get a
good team and do what you think is right.
Q Are you going to North Korea?
THE PRESIDENT: No decision has been made on that. We've been
talking, our people have, about what we've attempted to do in North Korea.
It's interesting, when I had this meeting eight years ago with the
President-elect's father, he told me that the biggest problem that we were
facing was the nuclear program in North Korea. And we were able to build
on the work they had done and put an end to that.
And now the big problem there is the missile program. We may have a
chance to put an end to it, and if we can, I think we should. But this is
something that I want to consult with the President-elect and his team
about and we'll see what the facts are and I'll try to do what's best for
Q Governor, I understand that you're not against him going, is that
PRESIDENT-ELECT BUSH: I haven't had a chance to talk to the President
THE PRESIDENT: We've got to talk about this.
Q What will you tell him is the biggest problem, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT: I want to talk to him, not you. (Laughter.) He can
talk about that. I waited eight years to say that. (Laughter.)
Q Governor, how different is it to come to this house in your
position now, than what it was as a family member?
PRESIDENT-ELECT BUSH: It's vastly different. It's such a huge honor
to come as the President-elect. I don't think I'll really fully realize
the impact until I swear-in. I suspect the President would say the same
thing. I am humbled and honored, and I can't thank the President enough
for his hospitality -- he didn't need to do this.
Q Yes, he did. (Laughter.) It's protocol.
PRESIDENT-ELECT BUSH: I hadn't quite finished yet. (Laughter.)
Q Go ahead and finish.
PRESIDENT-ELECT BUSH: And I'm grateful. And I look forward to the
discussion; I'm here to listen. And if the President is kind enough to
offer some advice, if he is, I will take it in.
Q Are there questions you have for the President, sir?
PRESIDENT-ELECT BUSH: If there are, I'm going to ask it in private --
and afterwards not share them with you.
END 11:30 A.M. EST