You are on page 1of 15

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

Internal Transcript -- August 16, 2002

ROUNDTABLE INTERVIEW

WITH CHIEF OF STAFF ANDREW H. CARD, JR.

Office of the Chief of Staff

The West Wing

2:05 P.M. EOT

SECRETARY CARD: -- (in progress) -- and finds time to manage the very, very
difficult task of winning a war, defending the homeland and a burden that
also came on September llth of restarting our economy, because here we had
just come out of a recession, and there was another shock to the economy. And
the President understood that on September llth. He knew that it wasn't just
a shock to democracy and civilized society, that it was also a shock to our
economy. So he was sensitive to that.

Q Could you take us back to that actual day, when you sort of whispered in
the President's ear. But can you give a little more context about sort of
what happened afterward, what the hours were like?

NON-RESPONSIVE
MATERIAL

001276
NON-RESPONSIVE
MATERIAL

I came back into the holding room, and that's when the President first
learned -- I think Karl Rove was the first one who said that a plane hit the
World Trade Center, and the President was informed of the situation. But the
information that we got was that a twin engine prop plane had crashed into
one of the towers of the World Trade Center. And that was literally just
before the President was walking into the classroom. And the reaction was,
oh, what a horrible accident. The pilot must have had a heart attack -- you
know, it was, what a horrible accident.

And the President went into the classroom. I then stepped back into the
holding room, and I was told -- I got on the phone, and I was told that a
second plane had hit, and it was a commercial jetliner, and that the first
plane was a commercial jetliner.

And then I wanted to tell the President. I usually try to do this: if I were
President, would I want to know? And the test was, yes, I would want to know.
So then I decided that I would tell the President. And I went over to the
door, and I actually did give some thought as to what I would say to the
President, because it's not an easy thing to interrupt a President during an
event. First of all, you're watching, the cameras are on, and the audience is
paying particular attention. And when it's a student audience, it's even a
greater challenge.

So I was very uncomfortable about interrupting the President during one of


his events. But I felt if I were President, I would want to know. But I also
did not want to have a discussion with the President in front of that
audience, and in front of those cameras. So I wanted to think, how can I
convey to the President the situation? And I made a conscious decision to
state the facts and to offer editorial comment. And the facts, as I knew
them, were -- since he knew about the first plane, I said, "a second plane
hit the second tower." Those were the facts. And the editorial comment was,
"America is under attack."

I said those things into the President's right ear, and I stepped back,
because I did not want to invite a discussion from the classroom. But I tried

001277
to be succinct in what I told him so that he understood the enormity of the
problem. He looked up -- it was only a matter of seconds, but it seemed like
minutes -- and I thought that he was outstanding in his ability not to scare
either the American people that were paying attention to the cameras or, more
importantly, the students that were in the classroom.

And he just excused himself very politely, to the teacher and to the
students, and he left and came into the holding room. Once he got in the
holding room we could, again, tell him what the facts were. By then, we had
brought a television into the holding room. So the television was on and they
were obviously playing what was happening. The President got on the phone,
spoke to the Situation Room, Dr. Rice. And I started working on the
logistics, getting the motorcade lined up and ready to go, making sure the
Secret Service were engaged in what they had to do, making sure that Air
Force One was -- the crew wasn't off shopping or something like that.
(Laughter.)

You laugh about these things, but it doesn't just happen, you know.
(Laughter.)

And we also decided that the President -- the President was anxious to get
back to Washington, D.C., very anxious to get back to Washington, D.C. But we
also had, I don't know, 500, 600, or 700 people in the gymnasium and we were
anxious to let them know that the President would not be going forward with
the program.

So I went into the other room, checked on the logistics, actually checked to
make sure that the press pool that was in the classroom was moved out to the
bigger room, because -- you know, the schedule fell apart. First I went up to
make sure Secretary Paige knew and would be able to take over the event. We
asked him to stay and handle the event; that the President would be coming
out to make brief remarks.

I then went around the other side to the back to check on the press pool. I
fortuitously saw my sister. And she came up full of excitement, gave me a big
hug. And I said, Sarah, there's been a terrible incident in New York City and
we're going to have to leave. I just want you to know about it, I just can't
get into it right now, but it's a terrible situation -- or something like
that. I was pretty glum. I know my sister was -- she was very worried.
Whatever I had said was not comforting. Sorry.

Anyway, and then I went back and finished up the President's comments that he
would make. And he went in, spoke to the community and then we left Secretary
Paige. We got in the motorcade and drove off to Air Force One. I believe --
don't hold me to every detail here, but I believe that it was -- we were both
on the phones. I was in the limousine. We were both on the phones and calling
back. And that's when we learned about the -- there was a whole bunch of
information that came out and a lot of it was wrong. But that's when we
learned about the attack on the Pentagon. I heard that there was a fire at
the State Department. I heard there was a fire in the Old Executive Office
Building. I heard all kinds of information. That's when we also heard Air
Force One was a target.

001278
And now we all know a lot of that information was not accurate. But we didn't
know that it wasn't accurate. I was anxious to get -- very, very anxious to
get the President quickly to Air Force One because it is a very safe
environment, and it has great communications. So my goal was to get him to
Air Force One as quickly as possible and get Air Force One in the air.

We got there and got the President on the plane. I was then worried about
everybody else getting on the plane, not for safety but because we couldn't
take off until everybody was on the plane. So I was getting on the plane and
-- and I was surprised, somewhat disappointed but surprised that the guests
that were scheduled to fly on Air Force One also had made it out to the
motorcade and were going on the plane. You tend not to think about those
things, but there they were.

So we had to wait -- rush people to get on the plane so we could take off. We
took off and flew very steep to altitude -- trying to get Air Force One out
of harm's way because of the speculation that it was in harm's way.

Q What was the President saying at that point? Or were you sitting with him?

SECRETARY CARD: Yes.

Q Tell us about that conversation and sort of --

SECRETARY CARD: As soon as he got on the plane, he started -- he got on the


phone back to the Situation Room, the PEOC, and we were trying to learn as
much as we could about what was happening, so we were looking for the facts.
And he wanted to make sure that he had the facts and was communicating with
the right people -- the Vice President, Condi Rice, Secretary Rumsfeld. And
he was very anxious to get back to Washington, D.C. And I kind of was the one
that --.I think the exact words I said, "we've got to let the dust settle
before we go back. We've got to find out what's going on, the dust has got to
settle. "

And he wanted to know where we were going. And I told him we were still
working on where we were going. He was sitting in his office on Air Force One
and I was for the first 15 -- 10-15 minutes of the flight -- maybe 5 or 10
minutes of the flight, I was up in the bedroom compartment and I was meeting
with the Secret Service representative and the person that I had put in
charge of making sure the communications worked on the plane, so that we
dedicated the phones for the President's use. Because, you know, everybody on
the plane wanted to pick up the phone and call. And I wanted to make sure it
was all cleared with communications, for the suite was priority. So I sent
pretty strict word up there.

We had an open line all the time to the Situation Room -- we didn't want to
have to wait for the call to go back and forth. So Captain Lauer* -- a female
captain who is now an admiral -- was the NSC representative on the plane. And
I can't even remember who the Secret Service guy I was working with, but I'll
get those names.

And I then focused on what does a safe environment look like. And we were
trying to decide where we should land the plane. I had a goal of landing the
plane within an hour-and-a-half. It was somewhat arbitrary, but I wanted to

<'\r\9
get the President down. The one thing that is lacking on Air Force One, from
a technological point of view, is the President's ability to speak to the
American people via satellite or whatever. He can talk by phone, but I didn't
feel it was appropriate for the President to talk by phone to the American
people.

And we have outstanding communications on the plane, him talking to the


Situation Room and the Vice President and the Secretary of Defense and
whatever. But it's not that he can get on a satellite and be in everybody's
living room.

And so we started looking at potential Air Force bases or Navy bases where we
could land the plane. We also didn't want to telegraph where we were going,
because we didn't know if we were a bigger target. And so we identified
Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. We told no one we were going there
until we got there.

Fortuitously, Barksdale was in the middle of an exercise, so they were


already on the highest alert even before the Defense Department put them on
the highest alert. They were in the middle of an exercise.

We landed, they had great security. And we first went to a conference room,
where we were planning to have a meeting back with the folks in Washington --
but it wasn't as conducive as it could have been to bringing a pool of
reporters in so the President could talk to a pool. So we moved from one
building about a mile down the road to another building, which was the
commandant's office.

And we had secure telephone calls back to the Situation Room, the Vice
President, whatever. And then we gathered the press and the President made a
statement. We knew it wasn't going to be satellite, because we didn't have
any satellite trucks there, but we did do video.

And then we got back on the plane. It allowed us to get rid of the guests
that were on Air Force One, trim down on the staff. So we eliminated the
staff that didn't need to be there on Air Force One and we took the guests
off the plane. And then we flew to Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska and I'll
stop there and let you ask questions.

Q When you first came in that holding room at the school, what was his body
language? What were any words he spoke? What was his immediate reaction --

SECRETARY CARD: He wanted to know what was going on. It was dramatic because
the television was in the room and it was the first time the President --
those of us in the holding room had seen, you know, the reports. So we were
watching it for two or three minutes or four minutes.

The President walked in and didn't see the TV and he said, what's going on?
And someone said, there it is, they're showing it. So the picture was right
there. So he turned around and he saw it. And with that, we didn't need to
describe it. It was: here it is, right there. It just happened to be the clip
was running over again when he walked in.

Q The second plane crashing into the building?

001Z80
SECRETARY CARD: It must have -- I can't remember. All I know is it showed the
plane going into the building and a ball of smoke, so you could see it. And
then -- and then the President got right on the phone and was talking back to
Condi Rice in the Situation Room or the PEOC. And I checked on the evacuation
of the White House. You know, I wanted to know, were people getting out of
the White House and all this kind of stuff, because we didn't know. And I
think that's when I was told that there was a fire in the Old Executive
Office Building. But that preceded us even getting in the car.

He did not say an awful lot. He listened on the phone. He told me he wanted
to get back to Washington as quickly as possible. He also formulated what he
wanted to say to the people that were in the gymnasium and some words were
crafted and he edited them. And he wanted to make sure Secretary Paige was
going to stay.

But he was really focusing on dealing with the problem and getting to where
we could have good communications.

Q How quickly was bin Laden's name mentioned? What was the first time you
remember hearing his name?

SECRETARY CARD: I don't think I'm good at giving you that answer. I can tell
you that there was an early -- I don't remember when, but it may have been on
the plane or it may have been before we even got on the plane, but there was
speculation that it was not another nation that had attacked us. And al Qaeda
and bin Laden were not unknown to us, because early on in the administration,
there was a lot of talk about the trial for the people who had bombed the
World Trade Center. And lots of talk about the security around the courtroom
or the courthouse where that trial was taking place.

And so, you know, we knew about bin Laden and the blind sheik and the
terrorist network. And there was an immediate recognition that this couldn't
have been an accident or a coincidence, it had to have been an attack, and it
had to have been well orchestrated and planned. People didn't wake up on the
morning on September llth and say, hey, I think I'm going to go fly a plane
into a building today. So it was pretty clear that this was an orchestrated
attack.

I bet -- I would say it was very early that we thought of this as a terrorist
attack. And it was very early that, what terrorists have the capacity to do
this? And it was kind of Osama bin Laden. But I can't remember the President
saying, oh, that was UBL, or --

Q UBL?

SECRETARY CARD: UBL, Osama bin Laden.

Q Along those lines, can you tell me, when did the President first learn of
the Phoenix memo, and what would happen if a similar memo came out of
Phoenix, or wherever, today?

SECRETARY CARD: We didn't learn of the Phoenix memo until pretty late.
Something that I think will end up being a standard, which was an exception,

001281
was the President getting an FBI briefing. I worked for President Reagan, I
worked with former President Bush, and worked -- with President Reagan, I
worked in that building, and a little bit in this building, where I had an
office there for three years, and then an office here for two years. And then
for former President Bush I was Deputy Chief of Staff, and my office was
right there.

So I can't speak with great knowledge about everything that happened with
President Reagan. I can speak with pretty good knowledge about everything
that happened with former President Bush. He did not get a regular FBI
briefing. President Bush, prior to September 12th, did not get an FBI
briefing. Now the President gets an FBI briefing every single day.

So back to relating it to the so-called Phoenix memo, there wasn't a


mechanism for that kind of memo to make it to the Oval Office, either in fact
or in discussion. That doesn't mean that it couldn't have shown up someplace
else, in the intelligence community, and then been condensed into something
that might have been an intelligence report to the President, but -- Phoenix
memo.

The President -- by having an FBI briefing regularly, you do -- or the staff


has a daily reminder that this war is different than any other war, because
all other wars since -- the CIA and the FBI were created -- were kind of
outside the United States. So you didn't worry about having an internal
intelligence analysis, you focused on what does the CIA say, what are they
doing over there? The President said, I want to know what's going on in here.

If I can do a segue to -- September llth is a day that changed America and


we'll never forget. You'll always remember where you were on September llth,
and what happened in tragedy. A day that rivals that, in my mind, from my
experience, was September 14th. And most of you would say, September 14th, it
was a Friday. But that was a day that I saw the President, first of all, with
Bob Mueller, the Director of the FBI, say: I don't want to hear about
yesterday, I don't want to hear about building the case for prosecution; I
want to know what the FBI is doing to prevent the next attack. Because the
FBI briefing was really: well, they got on the plane in Portland, and they
went to Boston, and they bought their tickets, and they did this, and it was
building a case for prosecution, or a case of understanding.

And the President really wanted to know: where else are they, how are we
going to prevent them from attacking us, what are you hearing? And that was
clearly not the primary mission of the FBI. And the President then made it
the primary mission of the FBI. And I believe that Bob Mueller went back over
to the FBI, and said, whoa, guess what, guys and gals, we now have to go out
and prevent the next attack from happening. And so that was a culture change
that was pushed down through a very significant bureaucracy of the federal
government. And it was really, really important.

So that happened on September 14th. The day began -- if you don't mind, I'll
run through September 14th, because it is so significant to me. I get to the
office very early in the morning. I got to the office kind of my normal time,
which was about 5:45 a.m. The President showed up in the Oval Office at about
6:45 a.m., which is about 15 minutes earlier than he usually did. Now, you
may not think of that as a big deal. It's a very big deal when you try to

J01282
cram a whole bunch of work in before you go to the Oval Office. So I am like,
oh my gosh, there he is, he's on the South Lawn already. (Laughter.) Because
I have this little locator on my desk that tells me where the President is
all the time. So I knew that he'd moved from the Residence to the South Lawn.

So I go running down to the Oval Office, and I -- good morning, Mr.


President, this is what your day is like. And I kind of tell him what the day
is like. And he interrupted me, and started telling me what his day would be
like. (Laughter.) And it was going to be CIA briefing, FBI briefing -- very
unusual. Then he got into the part of the schedule that was pretty normal. He
was going to do a Cabinet meeting. He told me that he was going to talk about
the war council, the first time he'd used the term war council with me. And
we walked through that day.

I get in there, CIA briefing, FBI briefing, change of culture dictated to the
FBI Director, pushed down to a bureaucracy, a real cultural shift that I
think will have -- it is a lasting legacy. It's an unfortunate legacy, but a
lasting legacy that we now have to have a President worried about attacks
from within.

Then the President goes to a Cabinet meeting. The Cabinet meeting was
remarkable. Obviously, it was the first Cabinet meeting after September llth.
And the President heard a report

-- you know, we always begin the Cabinet meeting with a prayer. We began the
Cabinet meeting with a prayer, and everyone in the room was prayerful. So
this was not just, you know, this was a meaningful prayer and everyone
listened. And then the President turned to the Secretary of State and the
Secretary of Defense and the Attorney General, and that's what you would
expect.

And the President talked about the war, hexcalled it a war. He talked about
the war council. He talked about getting the people who were responsible for
this. He talked about securing the homeland. And then he talked about, you
know, that this was a shock to our economy, and I want to make sure that we
understand that. He talked to Paul O'Neill, he talked to Elaine Chao, to Don
Evans, about responsibilities for the economy.

But then he went around the table and spoke about every Cabinet member's job.
Rod Paige, I'm going to be focusing on the war, protecting the homeland and
getting the economy going. Make sure no child is left behind.

Mel Martinez, housing is really important. I've got a big housing agenda that
I believe in. I want to make sure that that doesn't fall through the cracks.

Christie Todd Whitman - - h e went to every single cabinet member and reminded
them of their job and how it had to be done. And that showed that the
President wasn't lost in the great responsibilities he had to win the war. He
reminded us all that we had a job to do that went beyond, you know, the
challenge of the moment. And it was -- it was a tour de force. He went around
the table and challenged us.
And he was very efficient at this Cabinet meeting. It was not a Cabinet
meeting where there was a lot of give and take, bantering and dialogue; it
was all business.

Then we left the Cabinet meeting and we went up to the National Cathedral.
And the National Cathedral was packed -- congressman, senators, ambassadors,
governors, admirals, generals, priests, rabbis, imams, ministers -- it was
just, you know, nurses -- it was just filled with people. And we heard from
an imam and a rabbi and an orthodox priest, a catholic priest. Billy Graham
gave probably the last sermon that he will give seen by the world, type of
thing.

The President made very moving remarks. We sang hymns and we prayed. And even
an atheist or an agnostic had to have been moved by what happened in that
prayer session. And it was a prayer session not just for the United States;
it was a prayer session for the world. And it showed how the President
believes and knows that we have a higher responsibility and that we have the
resolve to address it, but we had the responsibility to address it for all of
the people. It wasn't for one people or one faith. And it was -- it was a
very, very moving prayer service.

And then we went from the prayer service to Andrews Air Force Base, got on
the 747, flew to New Jersey, got on Marine One -- after having met George
Pataki, Governor of New York, and Rudy Giuliani, the mayor of New York City -
- and we helicoptered over to Manhattan.

And we're on the helicopter, we're looking out the windows and you see the
smoke coming up from Manhattan. And it was kind of a dark, heavy day, the
mist — it was misty. But the smoke, I mean, you couldn't help but notice it.
I mean, it was like a pillar of smoke in the midst of gray; it was eerie. And
as we helicoptered around the end of Manhattan, you looked down and you saw
this huge hole that was filled — now, how do you have a hole that's filled?
It looked like a hole in the city, but it was filled, it was filled with
debris. And you could see people all around the edges, thousands of people.

And we then landed at Wall Street landing zone, got in the motorcade, drove
down to what we now called Ground Zero. And the streets were lined with
people. And it was very dirty, soot and smoke was very thick and heavy. But
the ground had an inch-and-a-half, two inches of soot and debris.

And the President wanted to get out. I was in the control car, so I'm
listening to all the radio communications back and forth -- one of the
advantages to being in the control car. And so you hear the Secret Service
talking, you hear the advance team, you hear the mil aids.

And the President wanted to get out of the limousine. The Secret Service was
a little uncomfortable, because nobody there had gone through a magnetometer.
(Laughter.) And he gets out and he goes right over to the line of people that
were behind barricades. And everybody runs up to be with him, and he is just
shaking hands, people are patting him on the back. But the emotions ran the
gamut. There were people who were cheering him, there were people who were
crying when they saw him. There were people who were praying. There were
people who were angry. There were people reaching for him, and there people

01284
that he reached for. It was different than a lot of other -- you know, I've
seen him in thousands of rope lines. This was a little bit different.

And then we got -- he went around the crowd. The crowd was pushing hard on
him. And then he got up on what was a crushed fire engine, stood beside that
firefighter, and he took a bullhorn and the crowd was chanting. And then all
of a sudden, the crowd started chanting, "U-S-A, U-S-A." And it was like, it
started a couple of people, and then it was this rumble, "U-S-A, U-S-A." And
I remember looking over my left shoulder, to guys that were up on kind of the
scaffolding, and they were waving a Japanese flag, and they're chanting, "U-
S-A, U-S-A." And then there were a group of rescue workers, literally
opposite the Japanese rescue workers, and they had banners on their -- they
had patches on their shoulder, the Canadian flag, and they were chanting, "U-
S-A, U-S-A." And goosebumps went -- it was unbelievable.

It was just much more emotional than I thought it would be. And it was
united. It was different people interested in the same thing. It was, like,
complete unity. Complete unity.

Then we went down to the Jacob Javits Center. And I've been to the Jacob
Javits Center a hundred times in my life -- you know, to conventions or car
shows or whatever. And we get in the Jacob Javits Center, and it's kind of
blue pipe-and-drape booths. But what they were filled with were rescue teams.
I think there were 38 states and 13 countries represented there, or
something. But each little area had a rescue team, and they had all of their
gear there, and their rescue dog, and they were lined up, getting ready to go
down and replace -- be the next shift.

And the President went to each group. He went to every single group, all the
way down. And it was a long string of people. And he rallied them on and
thanked them for what they were doing. And they were all volunteers, and they
came from all over the country, all over the world. He'd pat the dogs, "Thank
you very much for being here." And they were mission-oriented, you know, they
wanted to get to work.

And then the President went into another part of the Jacob Javits Center,
where there was this huge cordoned-off area, blue pipe-and-drape. And the
advance man came up and was standing with the President, and the advance guy
says, "There is a microphone set up" -- this is a room where we have families
of the policemen and firemen who are missing at the World Trade Center.
"There's a microphone set up. The thought is that you go in there, make a few
remarks, and then shake some hands and we'll leave. And the plan is we have
to be out of here in 45 minutes."

Before the instructions were finished, the President just went into the room,
and said, "I'm not going to the microphone." And he just went in there and he
went to each individual, and to each family. And he stood there and he
listened, he talked, he cried, he hugged, he prayed -- until every single
person had had a chance to talk and share the President's time.

And, more importantly, the President was there for us. I mean, he was there
for literally everybody in this country. And it was so unselfish, and it was
so sharing, and it was so comforting, because he would not be rushed. He

001285
looked everyone in the eye. He hugged all who wanted to be hugged, and he
allowed himself to be hugged. And he prayed.

And it was -- he stayed there for over two hours. And it was just -- people
would be with him and then leave and then come back. And there were tears,
there was laughing. There was also a tremendous level of hope, because these
people still thought their loved ones would be found alive. You know, this
wasn't late, this was early, and there was tremendous hope. But there was
also — I don't know, a recognition of sacrifice and service.

And we came out of that room -- and you know, by this time the President is
late, and you know how the President hates to be late, and the staff hates
for the President to be late, because we're all used to being on time now,
and we expect to be yelled at if we're late. And I remember talking with the
advance people -- "Oh, oh, we're running way behind," and "We've got to get
members of Congress over the airplane," and all this kind of stuff.

We get in the motorcade, and very -- almost nothing was said in the
motorcade. We go down to the landing zone, get in the helicopter, fly off to
New Jersey. And then most of the staff, the congressmen, get on the 747. The
President gets on the C-20, which is a small, little plane -- which takes on
Air Force One, because Air Force One is whatever plane the President is on.
And we fly to Hagerstown, Maryland, to go to Camp David.

And the President -- on the plane, it's the President, the military aide,
doctor, nurse, a couple Secret Service agents, pilot, co-pilot, and -- you
know, a flight attendant-type person -- and me. And the President sits down
in his chair and I'm sitting directly opposite him. And he is completely
wiped out, exhausted. He's physically exhausted, mentally exhausted. He's
emotionally exhausted, and he's spiritually exhausted. I mean, he is tired.
And -- kind of like, sitting there like this.

And I had no business saying this, but I said it. I said -- these aren't the
exact words, because I can never remember. But it was something like, "Mr.
President, it's not fair because history will make this judgment. But," I
said, "you're a great President."

"You did everything today that a President could be expected to do, and you
did it in one day. You changed the culture of a bureaucracy" — the FBI --
"you talked about convening a war council as Commander-in-Chief. You
challenged your Cabinet to do its job for the American people with all of the
disciplines that the American people expect. You prayed for a nation, and the
world, and you showed the resolve to follow through.

"You rallied the rescue workers. You told the world that they would hear us.
You thanked the volunteers that were making huge sacrifices and a big
difference. And you comforted Americans on behalf of America." It was a
phenomenal day. —

Q What did he say to that?

Q What did he say?

SECRETARY CARD: He just said, "Thank you."


Q Can I ask one kind of a large question on all of this. How could you not go
through all that and not be dramatically changed? I mean, you have to -- it
brought something different to the President. What was it?

SECRETARY CARD: It brought new priorities, but it didn't change him. It


brought new priorities.

It brought new priorities for all of us. I mean, I guarantee on September


llth at night, husbands and wives hugged, and parents told their children
they loved them. That may not have happened with everybody on the night of
September 10th. And we also know the stories after September llth, right
after, where Christians went to their Muslim neighbors and said, "I love you
and I want to work with you." I think it changed our communities.

But it didn't change the President. It changed the priorities.

Q Did it change how Americans view the Presidency?

SECRETARY CARD: I think it did. I think it did. I think it changed how


Americans view the Presidency, and this President. But, again, it was shining
a spotlight on the President, so they could see what those of us who have
known him for a long time have seen. I have confidence in that man, and I had
confidence in him before he was President, not just after September llth. And

Q How did it change? Sorry to keep --

SECRETARY CARD: How did it change?

Q How did it change how the American people viewed him and the Presidency?

SECRETARY CARD: Well, I don't think they had had a chance to see him without
someone else's filter. The filter was taken away on September llth, and the
American people were able to see him clearly in focus. He was in focus, and
he was focused. And he spoke -- he spoke candidly to the American people. The
words he used were not the words of diplomacy. They were his words. And when
he says things like "We're going to get them," people know he's serious about
it. He is going to get them.

So, anyway, I thought it was remarkable. But that day -- and I didn't mean to
ramble; I got off of September llth, and I know your stories are supposed to
be on September llth, and I did September 14th. But, anyway, the llth was a
day that America was challenged and America passed the test. And it started
with the President.

Q Are we safer today?

SECRETARY CARD: I think we're safer today than we were on September llth,
because there's more vigilance on the part of, literally, every American.

Now, let's not forget what happened on Flight 93. I mean, Flight 93 also
changed America, and it also sent one heck of a message to anyone who thinks
that they could do to another plane what was done on September llth. I'm

001287
convinced there are lots of people that fly -- that are in planes literally
as we speak -- that would have the courage to get up and say, "Don't even
think about it, because I'm going to crash this plane into some cornfield if
you try to go up in that cockpit."

NON-RESPONSIVE
MATERIAL

001?
NON-RESPONSIVE
MATERIAL

I took an oath, and everybody who serves in this White House did. And the
President took an oath, and every member of Congress did. And it's a pretty
simply oath. We have to protect and defend the Constitution of the United
States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Now, a lot of people, prior to September llth, didn't think about domestic
enemies when they took that oath. The attack on September llth was planned
away, but delivered at home. And so this President understands the oath he
took, and "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against
all enemies, foreign and domestic," means that we all have to be vigilant.

And there are policemen and firefighters and mayors and governors who take
those same oaths. And they understand what it means. And it has a real
meaning, and it came home to roost on September llth. And we've got to
continue to do it.

The attack on September llth was an attack of anarchy. It was not someone
trying to introduce a different philosophy of government. It wasn't somebody
trying to impose a different kind of leadership on this country. It wasn't
someone trying to say, you know, communism is better than capitalism. It was
an attack by people who want us to suffer through anarchy.

So I view it as an attack on the civilized world, and it was an attack on our


freedoms. And our civilized world and our freedoms are protected by our
Constitution. And that's the President's job; the top job for the President
is to protect the Constitution.

Q How is he different now? Well, not "different." But, I mean, what does he
do in a day that's different today, every day or most days, than he did
September 10 and before?

SECRETARY CARD: Well, he starts his days a little bit earlier. So the habit -
- the habit prior to September 10th was kind of 7:00 a.m.-7:15 a.m. Now it's
6:45 a.m., okay?

He is -- he's always been a -- well, not always, since I knew him way back in
— since he became Governor of Texas — (laughter) - - h e has been a very
disciplined man. And he's disciplined about every aspect of his life.

I would say that discipline has even more discipline to it since September
llth. He -- you know, you cannot do the job of President well if you don't
have discipline in your life. First of all, you can't get there, because it
takes a lot of discipline to run.

He has great discipline, and I have to make sure that he has time to eat,
sleep, and be merry, so that he can make the tough decisions he has to make.
He also has to have time to do all of the job that he needs to do as
President. So foreign policy, domestic policy, economic policy, war policy.
And he does it.

01289
But he is very disciplined, and a little bit more disciplined today than he
was even on September 10th, because his diet is disciplined, his exercise is
disciplined, his sleep is disciplined. His "merry" is disciplined -- you
know, he reads a book, sees a movie, takes a walk, hugs his kids, and enjoys
his ranch. And that is very, very important.

So he knows what he has to do to be able to do the job. And he does it. He


eats well, he sleeps well, he exercises well, he does his homework well, and
he relaxes well, and he loves his children well, and he loves his wife well,
and he enjoys being away from Washington, D.C.

Q Thank you.

END 2 : 5 0 P . M . EOT

noi.290

Related Interests