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lAi

'ED
THE WHITE HOUSE MAY 2 2 2003
National Commission on
Office of the Press Secretary Terrorist Attacks
Internal Transcript August 16, 2002

INTERVIEW OF CHIEF OF STAFF ANDREW H. CARD, JR.


BY SCOTT PELLEY OF CBS

The Vice President's Ceremonial Office

11:18 A.M. EDT

Q So, let me take us back to September llth. The first


airplane has hit. What's the first word that reaches the White
House staff?
^ ' V0
SECRETARY CARD: We had been told that a twin-engine prop
plane Jiad hit one of the World Trade Center towers. Andy I
remember the initial thought was "Oh, what a horrible accident.'
And the speculation was that the pilot must have had a heart
attack and crashed into the World Trade Center.

But it was really kind of a oh, what a terrible


accident.
You planned to

SECRETARY CARD: You really the enormity of the


situation at all.

Q You planned on proceeding with the day just as


scheduled.
SECRETARY CARD: Yes. We learned that just as the President
was getting ready to go into the classroom with the students.

Q The President goes into the classroom, And then


there's another message.

SECRETARY CARD: Then we were told that a jetliner,


commercial jetliner, had crashed into the second tower, and that
it appears that the first plane had been a jetliner as well. And
so it was very__c_lear right af terthat_,_that this could not have
been a coincidence^and~TEcbuld~not have been an accident.

And I wrestled with whether or not we should tell the


President. And the test that I used -- if I were President,
would I want to know? -- and the answer was clearly yes. So
then I tried to formulate in my mind what I should tell the

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President, and when I should tell the President. And I decided
that I would tell the President very succinctly the facts, with
one editorial comment.
Q Let me ask you -- most people don't understand the
gravity of interrupting a presidential event. They think, Well,
sure, you walk in, you tell the President; no big deal.
SECRETARY CARD: You don't walk in and interrupt the
President when he's in the middle of an event. First of all,
there are a lot of eyes on the President no matter where he is,
but especially at a relatively public event. And this was a
small audience, but a very public event. The press pool was with
the President; the President was seated at the front of a
classroom. There were teachers there, there were clearly
students in the audience.
And it was not an easy decision to interrupt the event and
talk to the President. So what I tried to do was not interrupt
the event, but catch the President's attention, knowing that that
would be disruptive to the classroom.
Q You walked in the room, whispered in the President's
ear. What did you say?
SECRETARY CARD: "A second plane hit the second tower;
America is under attack." I chose those words carefully. I
wanted to state the facts as I knew them -- a second plane hit
the second tower; he knew about the first plane. And then the
editorial comment was, "America is under attack."
Q Why did you add that?
SECRETARY CARD: Because I wanted to show the gravity of the
situation as I saw it -- that it could not have been a
coincidence, it couldn't have been an accident. And I felt that
it had to have been coordinated.
I also did not want to have a discussion with the President
in front of the classroom or the cameras. And that was the
easiest way for me to convey the situation as I knew it, and then
be able to walk away.
Q You must have stepped back and looked for his reaction.
SECRETARY CARD: I did. I stepped back, looking for his
reaction and also trying to help him find a way to extricate
himself from the classroom. And I remember, he did stare off for
seconds -- and it seemed like long seconds, but it was only
seconds. And then he found an opportunity to excuse himself from
the classroom a n d c o m e i n t o t h e noidingroom.
Q But when you said those words and stepped back and you
looked in his face, what did you see?

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SECRETARY CARD: I saw him kind of coming to recognition of
what I had said, and then I saw him kind of thinking how best not
to scare the classroom, the teachers, or the American people who
were also watching him.
Q He looked angry, to me.
SECRETARY CARD: Well --

Q The way his eyes narrow, and he starts to work his jaw.
He --
SECRETARY CARD: I think he understood that he was going to
have to take command as Commander-in-Chief, not just as
President.
Q And that was the transforming moment in this
Presidency, in some respects.
SECRETARY CARD: History will make that assumption or
decision. But I watched the President take the mantle of
leadership as Commander-in-Chief that day.
Q So the President does extricate himself from the
classroom. He walks behind that blue curtain
SECRETARY CARD: Comes into the holding room.
Q Be a witness to history for me here, Mr. Card.
SECRETARY CARD: He comes into the holding room and we tell
him the facts, again, as we knew them. By then, there was a
television in the holding room, and .we could see the replay of
the plane crashing into the World Trade Center, and flames
erupting.
And the President got on the phone with the National
Security Advisor in the Situation Room, learned the facts from
that side. And we quickly moved into what comes next.
And the President was anxious to get back to Washington, D.C
He was anxious to communicated with the Vice President and his
national command structure. But he also focused on making sure
that we went into the next room and told the people who had
gathered there -- it was a gymnasium -- that the President
would be leaving.
And I went out and spoke to the people that were
coordinating the event, and explained that the President would be
coming out, making brief remarks, but that we would be leaving
Secretary Paige to continue with the program. I made sure the
logistics were right in terms of the press moving from one
location to another location. And the President was working on a

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brief statement that he would come out and make in front of that
audience.
I then moved to make sure that the motorcade was ready to
go, and that the Air Force would have Air Force One ready to take
off.
Q When he walked into the hold and saw that television
for the first time, what reaction did he have?
SECRETARY CARD: No one was saying anything. We were aghast
at what was happening. By then, the President knew that the
planes had crashed into the World Trade Center, and I think he
knew that there had been an attack, that it wasn't just an
accident.
And then it -- we really became operational. You know, we
have a job to do, and the President recognized that he had a job
to do, and he was anxious to go do that job. And part of that
job was conveying to the audience that was gathered_at that
school that he had to get back to Washington and get -- deal
with a crisis that no one had anticipated.
Q Let's go to the motorcade now. Paint that picture for
me, leaving the school.
SECRETARY CARD: We gathered the motorcade very quickly.
And I remember being concerned that we would have all of the
people that we needed to have get out to Air Force One. We were
obviously trying to learn more information; we were all on our
phones and calling back to Washington, D.C. And we were anxious
to get the President onto Air Force One, where we knew it would
be secure, and that he would have secure communications.
And the President was working the phones, I was working the
phones. We were in the limousine, and we heard about the attack
on the Pentagon. And we also^heard that there had been a threat
Force One. Now, it turns out later on that the threat to
Air Force One was more imagined than real, but at the time it
seemed very real. The Secret Service had indicated to us that
someone had used _the code name for Air Force One, and had
indicated that it might be a target. So we were very anxious to
get to Air Force One, get the President safely on it, and then
get Air Force One into the air.
v \v> You know, Air Force One is a very safe environment for the
President, and it does have the best communications. So it's a
place where he can take all of the responsibilities of Commander-
in-Chief and exercise them.
I Q The state of your knowledge in the limousine, headed to
[Air Force One, was that the towers had been hit, the Pentagon had
(been hit, and Air Force One was next.

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SECRETARY CARD: We also heard, you know, that -- I
remember hearing that the State Department might have been hit,
or that the White House had a fire in it. So we were hearing
lots of different information.
Q And you feared all of that was true.
SECRETARY CARD: At the time, I did. I didn't know what was
true, and I assumed that what I was hearing was true. So I was
anxious to get the President to a safe environment, and to a
place where he had good communications.
Q Air Force One blasts off the runway.
SECRETARY CARD: It took off very quickly, and we climbed
quickly. And we tried to get to a safe altitude, and fly a
serpentine route. We asked for assistance from the Air Force and
the Navy, and so they were working to scramble some fighters to
come up and escort Air Force One.
We did not indicate where we were going. We were looking
for a place to land that had, obviously, a safe place where the
President could also speak to the American people. He was very
anxious to speak to the American people.
Q In fact, at that moment. Air Force One wasn't going
anywhere in particular.
SECRETARY CARD: We were flying a serpentine route,
considering different locations where we could land. And we were
kind of had a one-and-a-half hour time frame that we were
lookirig to get the plane down within a one and a half hour time
framed so that we could then communicate ~becauseTt was very
haro!to communicate wich the Amer_ican peojole from Air Force One.
We didn ' t have two-way satellite communication with" t r h " 5 •
television stations. We could have done things over the
telephone, but there was a discussion and we all thought that was
not the best way for the American people to hear from their
President.
Q Shortly before or after takeoff, you were up, all the
way forward in what is the President's bedroom, essentially, on
the aircraft. And you were with Mr. Rove and others. Is there
anything about that moment that you recall?
SECRETARY CARD: Well, actually, I don't remember Karl Rove
being in the bedroom at that time. I remember meeting with the
Secret Service and the representative of the National Security
Council was on the pJLane. And I said, 'we have to make sure we
have good communicatTons. Let's make sure the President's .
communication is the priority on the plane -- because there I
were a lot of people on Air Force One, and I'm sure they were allj
anxious to get on the phones and call different people. And I

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wanted to make sure the phones were dedicated for the use of the
President and those who had to deal with this crisis.
And so. first I said, Let's get the communications locked ' <\i*(M
down so the President has the communications dedicated to him.
The second thing is I worked with the Secret Service on -
understanding how safe the airplane was, Air Force One, and the
environment where we could go that would be safest -- you know,
which military bases would be the best to land at from a
logistics point of view, from security. And also, I was
wondering how the First Lady and the President's daughters were
doing in terms of their security. So I met with the Secret
Service and those involved with communications.
Q What did the Secret Service tell you about the First
Lady and the Bush daughters?
SECRETARY CARD: The First Lady, we knew, had been on
Capitol Hill. She was getting ready to appear before a
congressional committee to talk about education and the need for
us to have more teachers. And she was with Senator Kennedy, I
believe, in his office when the attack happened. And I did learn
from the Secret Service that she was well cared for and they were
taking her to a secure location in Washington, D.C. And I also
made sure that the President's daughters were well cared for, and
the Secret Service gave me a report on their location.
Q What did you tell the President about the safety of his
family?
SECRETARY CARD: I told the President that Laura was fine,
that the Secret Service had her and they were taking her, at that
time, to the secure location, and that his daughters were fine.
I know he did call, then, the First Lady, and they talked, when
she was with the Secret Service.
Q What is the scene, Mr. Card, in the President's cabin?
He is on the phone.
-SECRETARY CARD: He__was speaking with Dr. Rice, the Vice
President, Secretary Rumsfeld quite a bit on the phone. He also
talked with the First Lady. And Karl Rove spent a lot of time in
the President's office, as did Dan Bartlett and Ari Fleischer.
And we worked on all aspects of the President's scheduling, as
well as communications, while the President was on the phone
learning more about the nature of the attack, what was being done
to get planes out of the skies.
And I think one of the great success stories on September
llth was the fact that the Department of Transportation,
Secretary Mineta, worked very closely with the Defense
Department, Secretary Rumsfeld -- the FAA and the military
worked to get all of the planes out of the skies very, very
quickly. Those that were flying anywhere -- over North

000017
America, not just the United States -- and any planes that were
coming in from the Pacific or the Atlantic.
Q There was a discussion between the President and the
Vice President about authorizing the Air Force to shoot down
airliners.
SECRETARY CARD: There was a very heavy -- short, but very
heavy, conversation. And the President was asked about giving
the authority to pilots in the Air Force and the Navy to shoot
down commercial jetliners. And the President did authorize that
command, but he didn't do it without some forethought -- but it
wasn't an awful lot of forethought, because time was not
permissive. He had to make the decision.
But it was a heavy decision. And I remember right after the
President made that decision, we talked about it briefly, and he
understood, wow, this is -- it's going to be a tough call. A
very tough call.
Q You say that he was -- he made the decision quickly,
but he was also deliberate about it. He deliberated about it.
SECRETARY CARD: He was. He deliberated about it.
Q How do you know? What did he say?
SECRETARY CARD: Well, I was watching him as he was speaking
on the phone. And -- you know, he -- I remember him saying,
That's a very tough decision for a pilot to ..make, Remember, the
President had been a pilot.
Q A fighter pilot.
SECRETARY CARD: A fighter pilot. And he knew what it is to
have a young officer in a plane having to make a snap decision as
to whether or not they should use a weapon against what could be
American citizens, innocent, in a commercial jet. So he
understood.
Q But he made the decision quickly.
SECRETARY CARD: He made the decision quickly.
Q We've interviewed the two F-16 pilots who got that /
order. It's really quite interesting to hear those young men ^
talk. ^
Moving on to Barksdale -- why go to Barksdale? Why land
) at all? Air Force One would have been capable of flying for
hours and hours.
SECRETARY CARD: WelJ^__the President was very anxious to
talk to the American people. And again, we did not have" the

000018
technical means to speak appropriately with the American people
from Air Force One. We could have talked by telephone
Q You didn't want to do it on the phone.
SECRETARY CARD: -- and the President wanted to be able to
speak to them with his face and his voice. And we were looking
for a venue within an hour-and-a-half radius of kind of where we hL
took off from in Florida. And we wanted a secure military base. l\, there wa

which is a real significant Air Force facility. And we were able


to land there with their military on the higiiest alert, and they
had great security for the President. We gave very little notice
before we landed the plane there; we did not want the word to get
out to the potential enemy that we were headed to Barksdale.
But we did learn, just as we were coming in for the landing,
that the word had gotten out. Probably people were listening to
the radio communications with the FAA or something. But the
plane landed, and the President went in an armored Humvee -- —
(interruption to interview.)

Q When you're landing at Barksdale, you look up at the TV


monitors in the airplane. What do you see?
SECRETARY CARD: I saw the plane landing in Barksdale.
Q It was supposed to be a secret.
SECRETARY CARD: It was supposed to be a secret. The media
must have been on high alert as to Where is the President? And
so when communications went from Air Force One through the FAA to
get on the ground, I guess some television station must have
picked those up.
Q What did you think? You must have thought, How did
they "know?
SECRETARY CARD: I did think, How did they know? And I went
and asked the folks who were in charge of communications, "Did we
tell people?" And they said, "No, it's just the normal
communications with the FAA, and people must be monitoring the
frequency." So we did learn that we were landing; the same thing
happened in Nebraska.
Q Be a witness to history for me again, and tell me about
something that we couldn't see. When you and the President and
the rest of the party go through that little cinder-block
building at Offutt
SECRETARY CARD: Correct.

000019
Q -- what does it look like? What does it feel like,
going down there?
SECRETARY CARD: It's a very little.building that's very
deep. You walked into this little cinder building, and there are
lots of stairs going down. And we went down and down and down,
and went to a large, very large conference room with TV screens
and monitors, and lots of admirals and generals. And the
President took a seat right in the front row, and we could hear
communication -- I suspect it was between the air traffic
control and the military command and control structure, following
aircraft around the continental United States and to what was
happening -- so we could hear real-time the communication
between kind of the FAA and the military command, xdentifying
pj.anes to see if they were a risk or not, and trying to guide
them to the ground.
Q And going down that staircase, what does it look like,
sound like? Are thejre soldiers, or airmen, armed?
SECRETARY CARD: Yes, there were airmen armed. I don't
think that they had heavy weapons, but they had weapons. And
this was a very secure facility, one with the very best
communications. And it was the command-and-control structure for
the Air Force.
Q You and the President were on the phone -- leaping
backwards in time here for a moment, Andy -- you and the
President were on the telephone from the very earliest stages at
the school, and then in the limousine, and the aircraft. What
sort of reports were you hearing? How good was the early
information?
SECRETARY CARD: The early information was very good, but it il p^
wasn't always accurate. We had excellent communication with the *1 '
Situation Room. But they were reporting every piece of
information that they recalled, even if it wasn't found out later
to have been accurate. So they -- that's when I heard about .,
fires in the Old Executive Office Building, and an attack on the ' »
State Department. You know, we've had a report of planes that
were headed to venues that they shouldn't have been heading to.
And a lot of that was the fog of war.
But I would give high marks to the Situation Room in being
able to get information to the party traveling with the
President, and then clarifying that which was accurate and not
accurate as soon as "they found Out the truth.
Q It must have been very difficult for the Commander-in-
Chief to be making decisions in this, as you put it, "fog of
war. "

000020
SECRETARY CARD: It is. And that's why he tried to be
careful about the decisions. He was not rash in making his
decisions. He was contemplative, but he was efficient and he
made the decisions in a timely way.
But he was confident of the people who work with him, and he
was confident in his own ability to make the right decision.
Q Every American that day went through a number of
emotions -- shock, rage, despair. You were with the President
all day. How did he react to this as a man?
SECRETARY CARD: Well, he had, first of all, tremendous
concern for the American people. He worried about protecting
America. He had appropriate concern for his wife and children.
But most significantly, he understood he was President of the
United States, and he had our collective well-being in his hands.
And you know, he takes the oath of office very seriously.
And the oath says that he will "protect and defend the
Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign
and domestic." The attack on September llth was just as much an
attack on our Constitution as any attack the United States has
ever had. And so the President understood that.
I would say that he recognized that he was President of the
United States, and he had a responsibility as President that did
not allow him to be lost in private concern.
Q He didn't drop his head into his hands one moment
SECRETARY CARD: No, he didn't.
and say, "My goodness, how could this have
happened?"
SECRETARY CARD: No. He was looking to do his job as
President. And from the moment I whispered in his ear, I'm
convinced that he was thinking about what it was that he should
be doing as President of the United States. And that's a great
testament to him.
Q As Commander-in-Chief.
SECRETARY CARD: As Commander-in-Chief.
Q Let me leap ahead now to Omaha; we're in the
teleconference. Everybody's all lashed up and they're talking to
each other.
The President wanted to know from the CIA Director, George
Tenet, who did this. Do you recall what Tenet said?

000021
k SECRETARY CARD: Well, I remember -- there was kind of an
*** assumption tha_tthis was an al Qaeda, Jgsama bin Laden operation,
even_tho'ugh rt~wa_s_uns_tated_,, Bec"airse~ we all knew, who work with
the President, about the attack on the World Trade Center that
had happened when there was a car bombing there, years ago.
Remember, the trial had just taken place in New York City, and we
were all worried about the security around that trial in New
York.
So -- and we knew the al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden
organization, had been involved in that attack. And so I don't
think any of us were surprised to hear from George Tenet that
this was, first of all, well orchestrated. It -- probably
planned for a long time. And that it could not have been the
work just from some group of people that got together on the
morning of the llth and said, Hey, let's fly a couple planes into
some buildings. This was an attack that had been organized.
And unlike other attacks on our country -- and we've had a
few -- this attack came fjrom people that wanted to invite
anarchy to our system. They weren't looking to introduce a
different government or a different philosophy. They were
looking to bring anarchy to civilized society. And it was a
horrible, horrible attack.
Q Let me ask you if you remember this. I -- somebody's
^t peeking in on us -- the story goes that in the teleconference,
the CIA and the FBI had already identified a few of the hijackers
as being known al Qaeda operatives. Do you recall that?
SECRETARY CARD: I do kind of recall that.
Q Can you tell me what Mr. Tenet told the President about
that? If you recall.
SECRETARY CARD: I don't recall. There --
Q Fair enough.
'SECRETARY CARD: But I don't remember -- it was not a
surprise to any of us.
The President, interestingly, was less focused on what
happened and more focused on making sure nothing else would
happen. he was already into the "We've got to protect the
homeland, and we've got to get these guys." He was talking
about, you know, getting the bad guys and preventing the next
attack.
And that started very early. I mean, the conversations on
the plane were about we've got to prevent the next attack.
Q Moving ahead and looking at the deliberations of the
national security staff and the war cabinet in the days that

000022
followed, early in those discussions -- the night of September
llth, after the President has returned; the morning of September
the 12th -- what were the issues that were on the table? What
were the problems, if you will, facing the President with regard
to what the State Department thought, what the Pentagon thought?
SECRETARY CARD: This is the post-September llth?
Q Post-September llth. The night when everyone got
together at the White House, the next morning in the intel
briefing, and then later in the Cabinet meeting -- what are the

SECRETARY CARD: Well, one -- there were a number of


remarkable things that happened on September llth when we were on
the plane heading towards Nebraska, and then heading back to
Washington, D.C.
The President heard from the Russians that they were not
going to be a threat to the United States and they were not --i
they were standing down their troops even though they knew we I
were standing ours up. And that was a statement of friendship I
and respect and trust. And so the diplomatic channels were
already opening up new opportunities for this country, and the
President recognized that.
We were hearing from our allies that they were going to be
true allies, and they were going to be helpful -- the Brits,
the French, and the Germans. So the world was already
responding. And Secretary Powell was managing that response. He
was reaching out and he was accepting the interest and
appreciations and condolences that came from our friends around
the world.
So there was an awful lot of work being done on the
diplomatic front, even while we were on the plane flying from
Florida, Louisiana, Nebraska, back to Washington, D.C.
The Defense Department clearly had mobilized -- remember,
the Defense Department had also been attacked. So they were
dealing with the crisis of an attack on their building, their
people, and yet they were able to mobilize the right response
from America's armed forces, not just here at home but around the
world.
And then we saw how the Justice Department and the FBI were
working -- most significantly, with local elected officials,
and local law enforcement. The level of communication between
Governor Pataki and the President was phenomenal. The President
and Mayor Giuliani in New York City, they spoke.
And then there was the communication that we know was taking
place between the law enforcement community and the federal
government. And the Federal Emergency Management Agency -- Joe

000023
Allbaugh, the Director of FEMA, was engaged very quickly in
making sure there was some kind of emergency response to help
with finding victims.

Q The administration had been working for months on a


plan to deal with al Qaeda. You had known that it was a problem
that was going to have to be dealt with. I understand that that
plan was moving along and was just about ready for presentation
to the President". The President must have
SECRETARY CARD: It was literally headed to the President's
desk, I think, on the llth, 10th or llth of September.
Q The President must have expressed some frustration that
we had not attacked first.
SECRETARY CARD: I don't remember him expressing
frustration. He was less about yesterday and more about today
and tomorrow. I mean, he was focusing on protecting the homeland
and winning the war against terrorism.
And I'll tell you, he was so disciplined with his resolve.
This was not about second-guessing or reflecting; this was about
doing the job that had to be done right there. So this was less
about the blame game and more about getting the job done.
Q He didn't think of it as a lost opportunity?
SECRETARY CARD: Well, it wouldn't have made any difference,
because we had to -- we had to take the task at hand and
accomplish it. We had to protect the homeland, and we had to
make sure there were no other attacks, and we were going to do
everything we could to make sure there were no other attacks.
And then we were going to get the people that were responsible
for the attacks, so they couldn't plan future ones. And that's
where he moved.
•He moved to the job that had to be done. Other people were
probably saying, oh, what if? Or why didn't you? Or when did
you? The President was saying, We've got a job to do and we're
going to do it.
Q You remember the Javits Center.
SECRETARY CARD: Yes, I do.
Q How could you forget?
SECRETARY CARD: That was very emotional.
Q When the President left the Javits Center, did you say
anything to him?

000024
SECRETARY CARD: Oh, that day was filled with so many
different emotions. It was probably the most remarkable day that
I've had working in government.
But we left the Javits Center after the President had met
with the families of the policemen and firemen who were still
missing at the World Trade Center. And you know, it was funny,
there was so much hope in that room that their loved ones would
be found alive, and yet there was some kind of expectation that
they would probably be found dead.
And the President would not be rushed out of that room. He
stayed in the room until he met with literally every single
person, and he shared -- not just his emotions, he shared the
emotions of America with these people. And he shared tears, and
laughter, and hope, and prayers. And he listened, and he
consoled.
And we left the Jacob Javits Center to get on Marine One and
then to get on Air Force One. And very little was said in the
limousine as we left the Jacob Javits Center, and very little was
said on the helicopter.
And when we finally got on Air Force One -- and this was
not the 747 Air Force One; this was a little, small plane we were
flying to Hagerstown, Maryland, to go to Camp David. And there
was a small group of people on the plane; there was the military
aide, and a doctor and a nurse, and a few Secret Service agents,
and then the personnel with the Air Force flying the plane.
And I was sitting right opposite the President. And I said,
"Mr. President, I have no business saying this, but you're a
great President." And I said, You started the day, you changed
government because you gave a new mission to the FBI. You
reminded the Cabinet of the responsibilities that we all have, to
do our job in education and housing and stimulating the economy
and finding employment and finding justice. You heard from the
Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense.
You talked about convening a war council. You went to the
National Cathedral and led our nation in prayer, and showed the
world our faith. Then you went to Ground Zero and rallied those
who were helping to find those that might still be alive at the
World Trade Center. You gave thanks to those volunteers that
were there to help us through our grief. And then you comforted
the families of the victims.
The President was completely exhausted. And he didn't say
much to me, but he said, "Thank you." And I remember thinking,
this President, he was physically exhausted, he was mentally
exhausted, he was emotionally exhausted, he was spiritually
exhausted. But he was the President of the United States, and it
was such a privilege to be working with him, because he was a man

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of great character and great leadership. And he did everything a
President could be expected to do, and he did it on that one day.
Q It must have been a tremendously emotional time for
both of you, sitting there at the end of that day, having met all
of those people whose loved ones were very likely dead.
SECRETARY CARD: It was something no President wants to do.
But this President knew he had to do it. And it's a testament to
him, because the schedule did not call for the President to spend
as much time with those who were filled with hope and fear as he
did.
I remember when the advance team was rushing the President,
to say we've got to move on, we've got to move on, and the
President saying, "No, this is where I'm supposed to be, and I
will stay here." And he did, until he touched every single
person.
Q Had to have broken his heart. _
SECRETARY CARD: There were a lot of tears. There were a
lot of prayers. There was also a lot of resolve. And the
President was there -- not for himself; he was there for all of
us. The President really represented every American in that room
with those families of the victims.
Q Thank you very much.
SECRETARY CARD: Thank you.
END 11:54 A . M . EDT

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