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Editor’s note: Each week, WorldNetDaily White House correspondent Les Kinsolving asks the tough questions no one else will ask. And each week, WorldNetDaily brings you the transcripts of those dialogues with the president and his spokesman. If you’d like to suggest a question for the White House, submit it to WorldNetDaily’s exclusive interactive forum MR. PRESIDENT!
At this afternoon’s daily White House media briefing, WND entered the dialogue as Presidential Press Secretary Ari Fleischer attempted to explain why President Bush today attended a fund-raiser for Rep. Connie Morella, R-Md., who is considered by many as the most liberal Republican in the House of Representatives.
Another reporter begins the questioning:
Q: Ari, given that Congresswoman Connie Morella votes perhaps more often than any other House Republican against the president’s agenda, why did the president attend a fund-raiser for her? Does it reflect some concern that she’s in danger of losing her seat?
FLEISCHER: One, I’m not sure about the premise of your question. It is very well possible there is some other Republicans who vote even more against the president. But I think it just shows that –
WND: Who? (Laughter.)
FLEISCHER: – the Republican Party is a –
WND: Name one.
FLEISCHER: That’s your question, Les. You’re done. (Laughter.) Thank you, Les.
Ed. I think it’s just further evidence that the Republican Party is a big tent and that the president is going to work hard to re-elect people who broadly support the Republican agenda, the compassionate conservative agenda that the president has talked about, and who focus on education, particularly an important issue for all Republicans. And that’s what you’re seeing. The president will continue to work hard to support people who support him. …
Fleischer then turned to WND for a “second” question.
FLEISCHER: You have to stick to one question, because you’ve already had one. Pick your two, and choose one, because you’re only going to have one.
WND: Really –
FLEISCHER: No, no, no.
WND: – you go away for a whole week. And it was two traffic jams I went through. (Laughter.)
FLEISCHER: You’re about to go through a third. (Laughter.)
WND: The New York Times reports meager harvests in Africa leave millions at the edge of starvation, “including Zimbabwe, to whom neighboring nations used to turn for help during food shortages. But now Zimbabwe can barely help itself, let alone its neighbors, because it, too, is facing famine.” And my question: What is the president’s belief about President Robert Mugabe’s agricultural reverse apartheid in seizing hundreds of farms because they’re owned by white farmers? And why didn’t the president even bring this up, this destructive racism, at the G-8 meeting?
FLEISCHER: Well, as you know from the president’s announcement in Monterrey, Mexico, and to the announcement that was made this week in Calgary, the president is focused, as well as the G-8 nations, on bringing help to Africa. And the president believes very strongly that the best way to help the people of Africa is by giving incentives for the governments that are open, that are transparent, that follow the rule of law. And those nations that do that will receive increased aid, so that aid can actually get down to the people and make a difference and help in their lives.
The case of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe has moved in the wrong direction, and particularly in terms of their election that they just held. And so this is a very deeply seated belief with the president, that people around the world deserve help from the United States. The president has announced a Millennium Challenge Account to provide that funding, but he wants to make sure that the funding is not a waste of money – that not only loses money for the taxpayers but is harmful to people in these nations if the money ends up in the hands of corrupt governments.
See WorldNetDaily’s latest story on the crisis in Zimbabwe.