Public Papers

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


Q. Mr. President, the conservatives say you're not doing enough to help Thomas. They say you're not helping Thomas enough.

The President. Let me repeat it because some are a little hard of hearing. I support him 100 percent. No fear of contradiction. I am strongly for him. I'm simply not going to inject myself into what's going on in the Senate. I have very strong convictions about it, and I'll share them with you at the appropriate time. But as for now, you put me down and the White House down and our administration down as 100 percent for Clarence Thomas, without wavering in any way.

And let's see the Senate get on with its business in a fair fashion and get this matter resolved. And when it's done in that manner, I am absolutely convinced that he will be confirmed and will be on the Supreme Court because, in my view, he deserves to be there. And let the hearing go forward. But I don't want to get in -- I don't want to elaborate anymore because I have very strong feelings. And I've said about all I want to say about it right now.

I had a good visit with him yesterday. And I didn't see how my views supporting him could get any stronger, but they certainly did.

Q. They said you should go on TV.

The President. What?

Q. They say you should make a TV address, and you should denounce the Biden committee.

Q. Is it a smear campaign?

The President. Come on, Rita [Rita Beamish, Associated Press]. [Laughter]

Note: This exchange occurred following the remarks of President Rafael Calderon of Costa Rica and President Bush.