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Editor’s note: Each week, WorldNetDaily White House correspondent Les Kinsolving asks the tough questions almost no one else will ask. And each week, WorldNetDaily brings you the transcripts of those dialogues with the president and his spokesman.
At today’s White House news briefing, presidential press secretary Scott McClellan commented on the confirmation process for U.S. Supreme Court nominee John Roberts, responding to a question about Sen. Charles Schumer’s “hostile” questioning of Roberts during his appeals-court confirmation in 2003.
WND also asked whether the president will affirm Sen. Bill Frist’s denouncement of the ACLU for its successful lawsuit barring the Pentagon from support of the Boy Scouts. Bush will speak Wednesday at the Scouts’ National Jamboree.
WND: Scott, a two-part. Sean Hannity has just rebroadcast Senator Orrin Hatch’s statement that Senator Charles Schumer’s questioning of nominee John Roberts was so hostile in 2003 that they were, in Senator Hatch’s expressed and twice repeated definition, “dumb-a– questions,” which characterization Senator Hatch repeated twice and refused to retract –
McCLELLAN: I’m sorry, was this the confirmation hearings or – no, never mind. [Laughter.]
WND: This was in 2003. Does the White House expect that Senator Schumer will be any less hostile next month or in early September, and stop asking such questions?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the president is optimistic that the Senate is going to move forward in a dignified way on the confirmation process, one that rises above partisanship. There has been positive reception across the political aisle for the nomination that the president made.
I think people on both sides of the aisle recognize that he is someone who is exceptionally well qualified for this position, and the president looks forward to continuing to work closely with the Senate as they move forward on the confirmation hearings.
And we hope that it will be one that all Americans can be proud of, because the nominee that the president selected is someone that all Americans can be proud of. And I think the American people expect us to put aside partisanship and move forward in a dignified and civil way.
WND: Scott, Senator Majority Leader [Bill] Frist has issued a strong defense of the Boy Scouts of America and has deplored the ACLU’s suing them. And my question: When he addresses the Boy Scout National Jamboree on Wednesday, will the president agree with, or ignore Senator Frist’s support of the Boy Scouts?
McCLELLAN: I don’t know if that’s an issue that he’s necessarily getting into in his remarks, but let me wait until we get closer to the event and then we can talk about his –
WND: Will that be “no”?
McCLELLAN: We can talk about his remarks at that time. But it’s a little premature to kind of preview those remarks for Wednesday.
WND: It’s Wednesday, it’s almost on top of us.
McCLELLAN: Well, I’m not sure that the president has had an opportunity to really look through his remarks and make any changes or additions to it.