Friday, October 14, 2005


From yesterday's White House press briefing:

MR. McCLELLAN: Steve said "thank you" a second time. I think the first time -- the first time --

Q I know, but my question is --

MR. McCLELLAN: The first time, we probably should have stopped it at that.

Q Right. I know. Aren't you sad that you didn't go for -- that you went past, "thank you"?

MR. McCLELLAN: No. Actually, I'm not. I'm glad we had this discussion, John.

Q Okay, good. But my only question was, the very last thing that you said there, why didn't you just say that in response to my question instead of attacking me and getting into this whole brouhaha?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I was trying to, but some people kept jumping in, including yourself when I was responding to your question.

Q Well, excuse me, you attacked me. I just wasn't going to let it sit.

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I'm not attacking. I'm just pointing out that a lot of the coverage is not focused on the record and the qualifications and the philosophy -

Q I'll bring you transcripts after the briefing.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- and that's where it should. Did it focus on it last night? Let's look at the transcripts.

Q You spoke about a dignified process, do you think it's dignified to --

Q Are you -- let's talk about truth and honesty. Are you trying to say that the White House has not talked to conservatives and pointed them to the church that she goes to, and to her religion --

MR. McCLELLAN: I answered all those questions yesterday.

Q -- to show that she has religion -- but you're just saying right now that we're making an issue of it. You're making an issue of it by having White House officials --

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I'm saying --

Q -- tell conservatives that that's a reason they should trust her. Then they tell us that --

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I'm not saying that. You're putting words --

Q -- that that's what's happening.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- in my mouth. I'm saying the focus ought to be on records and qualification and philosophy.

Q I'm not putting any words in your mouth.

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, you are.

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