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President Bush On the Road

January 31, 2002 at 12:00 AM EDT


KWAME HOLMAN: During the two days since his State of the Union address, President Bush has been on the road, going before friendly audiences in the southeast to underscore the policy themes he laid out Tuesday night.

SPOKESMAN: The President of the United States.

KWAME HOLMAN: At his first stop, Winston Salem, North Carolina, Mr. Bush began with an update on the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: We have totally routed out one of the most repressive governments in the history of mankind, the Taliban. You see… ( Applause ) …When I made our announcement last September about our intentions, I said the evil won’t stand. We haven’t forgot our other objective, and that’s bad news for al-Qaida. Our other objective is to run them down wherever they hide and bring them to justice, or as I like to say, “get them.” (Laughter) (cheers and applause)

KWAME HOLMAN: The President elaborated on one of the domestic priorities he unveiled in his speech to Congress: Expanding public service work through a program called the U.S.A. Freedom Corps.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Part of being a responsible society is to serve your community. And so my call to America is, I hope and ask that you serve your community you live in, and your nation, by two years of service, 4,000 hours of service over your lifetime. One of the things we’re asking is for people to volunteer– ex- policemen or ex-firefighters, retired docs or nurses; make yourself available to be a part of your emergency response teams in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, or any other community in North Carolina, or the country, for that matter.

KWAME HOLMAN: The President also called on Americans to volunteer to work and teach in low-income communities, and for more senior citizens to join in volunteerism.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: And finally, I believe that one thing we must do– and I spent some time talking about it last night– was to expand the Peace Corps, revitalize the mission; encourage the Peace Corps to go into the Islamic world to spread the message of economic development and really share the compassion of a great nation, and that is America. Dial up, or you can call this number. It sounds like I’m making a pitch, and I am… (Laughter) This is the right thing to do for America. 1-877-USA-CORPS.

SPOKESPERSON: The President of the United States. ( Applause )

KWAME HOLMAN: In Daytona Beach, Florida, Mr. Bush restated the central themes of the proposed budget he officially will send to Congress on Monday.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I sent a budget. One of the things a President does is put out a budget; I sent a budget up. It starts with this number-one priority: If you wear our uniform, you deserve the best training, the best equipment and another pay raise. (Applause) The second budget request I put in there is for homeland security. And the third is for job security. (Applause) I know there are some people hurting in this state. Let me just tell you something about the tax relief plan that you helped us pass. Thank goodness we passed it. It came at the right time. If you want to fight off a recession, if you’re interested in job creation, one of the best ways to do so is to let people keep their own money so they cant spend it and, therefore, create more jobs.

KWAME HOLMAN: And today, in Atlanta, the President spoke generally about regimes in the world who may threaten the United States. He did not name them as he did Tuesday night, when he criticized Iran, Iraq, and North Korea.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: In my speech to the Congress, I said we will rout out terror and terrorist training camps, and by the way, the evidence indicates thousands in the training camps. So they’re moving around. We can’t rest; we can’t weary. And we’ve also sent another message, that if you’re one of these nations that develops weapons of mass destruction and you’re likely to team up with a terrorist group or you’re now sponsoring terror, or you don’t hold the values we hold dear true to your heart, then you, too, are on our watch list. People say, “What does that mean?” That means get your house in order, it means they’d respect the rule of law; it means they better not terrorize America and allies, or the justice of this nation will be served on them as well! ( Cheers and applause )

KWAME HOLMAN: Late today, the President returned to business in Washington, including a meeting with the chancellor of Germany.