MR. McCLELLAN: Good afternoon. The President, a short time ago, concluded his meeting with some economic leaders. This was a good discussion about the steps that we have taken to strengthen our economy, and the additional steps that we are calling on Congress to take to strengthen our economy even more, so that we can create as robust an environment as possible for job creation.
A lot of the issues that were discussed centered on addressing rising health care costs, promoting trade, making the tax cuts permanent, and passing a comprehensive energy plan. Those are all important parts of the President’s six-point plan to strengthen our economy even more.
And that’s the quick readout from the meeting. With that, I’ll be glad to go right into your questions.
Q On the attendance records of the National Guard, it said he had 56 out of a required 50 points. Is that considered a good attendance record, do you know? Or do you know what the maximum number of points you can get —
MR. McCLELLAN: First of all, we were pleased to be able to provide you all with these additional records that just recently came to our attention. These documents clearly show that the President fulfilled his duties. And we had previously released some of the point summaries that you are referencing. There is more complete information relating to those point summaries that document the fact that the President of the United States fulfilled his duties when he was serving in the National Guard back in the early ’70s.
Q Scott, a couple of questions I have — the records that you handed out today, and other records that exist, indicate that the President did not perform any Guard duty during the months of December 1972, February or March of 1973. I’m wondering if you can tell us where he was during that period. And also, how is it that he managed to not make the medical requirements to remain on active flight duty status?
MR. McCLELLAN: John, the records that you’re pointing to, these records are the payroll records; they’re the point summaries. These records verify that he met the requirements necessary to fulfill his duties. These records —
Q That wasn’t my question, Scott.
MR. McCLELLAN: These payroll records —
Q Scott, that wasn’t my question, and you know it wasn’t my question. Where was he in December of ’72, February and March of ’73? And why did he not fulfill the medical requirements to remain on active flight duty status?
MR. McCLELLAN: These records — these records I’m holding here clearly document the President fulfilling his duties in the National Guard. The President was proud of his service. The President —
Q I asked a simple question; how about a simple answer?
MR. McCLELLAN: John, if you’ll let me address the question, I’m coming to your answer, and I’d like —
Q Well, if you would address it — maybe you could. […]
To read the full transcript of the press conference held on February 10, 2004 by Scott McClellan, The Press Secretary, White House, visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/02/20040210-3.html