Public Papers

Exchange With Reporters on the Presidential Primaries


The President. The communications czar has told me that we must be moving onward. And I can tell your lack of interest, or you would be going with us on to the Super Tuesday States. Why are you not there?

Q. Are you afraid of Buchanan?

Q. Do you think you'll consistently lose this 30-percent protest vote?

The President. We're doing well. We won everything, and we're going to keep on winning everything. Tough times out there, and I think people are beginning to understand that what counts is who wins these primaries. So I feel good about it, and I'm not going to keep raising the high bar. I'm just going to go one at a time and win them all and win the election in the fall.

So, I'm very grateful to the people that worked hard; they're working in a tough economic environment. I know that. But I'm very, very pleased.

Q. Do you feel good about repenting on taxes?

The President. Yes, very good about that.

Q. Do you accept the votes for Buchanan as votes against you?

The President. It seems to be that way, yes. I think that's a good way to analyze it. But that will turn around. The economy will turn around. We'll make some headway with Congress eventually, keep trying. And people will see that I'm the person to lead this country now, as I was in the past.

Q. -- -- margin in 30 percent?

The President. This is a high jump. I'm not going to raise the bar, nor lower it. Just leave it where it is.

Note: The exchange began at 7:46 a.m. on the South Lawn at the White House prior to the President's departure for Tampa, FL.