Public Papers

Exchange With Reporters on the Nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court


The President. The subject at hand is going to be the economic situation, the second meeting we've had this week on the initiatives and on where we stand. But I want to say to everybody around this table how important we're viewing this vote in the Senate on Judge Clarence Thomas.

He's a very good man. I do feel that he deserves to be confirmed. The support from across the country is enormously strong for him, in the minority community, majority community, whatever you want to call it. And I'd like to see that quickly voted on, and I feel that it will be.

And I do think the Senate committee has conducted itself in a very fair way. But I must say that I'd like to see the clear will of the American people be followed on this one. And certainly, I just wanted everybody here to know that I have not in any way done anything other than increase in my enthusiasm for and belief in Clarence Thomas to be an outstanding Justice and believe he will be going on the Court.

Q. Mr. President, you don't even have CFE or the START treaty ratified yet. Do you think you may be jumping the gun by proposing still more missile cuts?

The President. Stay tuned, Jim [Jim Miklaszewski, NBC News]. We're living in a rapidly changing world. And I think what I will be saying tonight will have major worldwide implications for world peace. And just leave it in that context. I'm not going to take any questions about it. You know me, and I don't like leaks very much. So, I might be the leaker. I look for leakees and fail to find them. [Laughter]

Q. Will there be any savings for taxpayers as a result of your proposals, Mr. President?

The President. You misunderstood what I said, Terry [Terence Hunt, Associated Press]. I said I don't want to take any more questions on it.

Q. Do you think that the Thomas nomination is in danger, sir?

The President. -- determined -- Dana Carvey, determined. [Laughter]

Q. Mr. President, do you think that the Thomas nomination is in danger?

The President. No. I think it's in pretty good shape. And I just wanted to reaffirm to everybody here my strong enthusiasm for Clarence Thomas. I'm bolstered in all of that when I see the American people with the same high regard, obviously. They get asked all the time. And I was very interested to see the Southern Christian Leadership Conference came out for him, not with a tremendous amount of fanfare as some organizations that opposed him have. But this was a very, very interesting endorsement, frankly, and one that deserves critical consideration by a lot of Members of the United States Senate.

So, it will be all right.

Thank you all very much.

Note: The President spoke at 9:53 a.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House. In his remarks, the President referred to Dana Carvey, a comedian who does impersonations of George Bush. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.