[eDebate] Debater Asks Bush NMD Question
Thu Nov 15 12:38:26 CST 2001
White House Release 11/15 -- http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/11/20011115-4.html
Q My name is Sean Law -- (phonetic.) I was wondering if you've come to a conclusion about whether or not to deploy a national missile defense system?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Are you with the national press corps or -- (laughter.) I noticed my friends in the national press corps are giving you a thumbs-up. (Laughter.) Oh, you're a debater. That's okay, then. (Laughter.)
This is an area that we've had a lot of discussions about. As you might remember, in the presidential campaign I said, in very plain terms, that I felt the ABM Treaty signed in 1972 is outdated; that the treaty was signed during a period of time when we really hated each other and we no longer hate each other; that I view the treaty as something we need to move beyond.
And I made this very clear to the President. He understands our position, that it is in our nation's interest, and I think, in his nation's interest and other peaceful nations' interest to be able to explore the ability -- to determine whether or not we can be able to deploy defensive systems to prevent people who might have weapons of mass destruction from hurting us, or holding us hostage, or being able to blackmail free nations.
He'll be glad to give you his position. We have a difference of opinion. But the great thing about our relationship is our relationship is strong enough to endure this difference of opinion. And that's the positive development. We've found many areas in which we can cooperate and we've found some areas where we disagree. But, nevertheless, our disagreements will not divide us, as nations that need to combine to make the world more peaceful and more prosperous.
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