Informal Exchange With Reporters on Domestic Issues

September 7, 1984

Q. Mr. President, come on over.

Q. What about Mr. Meese?

Q. Are you going to reappoint Mr. Meese?

Q. Meese.

Q. Oh, hurrah.

Q. I win. I win.

Q. What about Meese?

Q. Are you going to reappoint Mr. Meese if you're reelected?

The President. Well, I have not seen the report yet, as no one has. But barring anything unforeseen, and I don't expect anything of that kind, I haven't changed my mind about him.

Q. Sir, Senator Thurmond has said in that report that he's not going to hold hearings in this session. That means that you'd have to resubmit if you're reelected. Would you do that?

The President. Yes.

Q. What do you think about Thurmond not holding hearings this fall?

The President. Well, I can understand the crowded agenda that they have with regard to the election and the necessity to adjourn for campaigning and so forth. So, no, I don't think there's anything unusual about that at all.

Q. Do you think that God is a Republican? Do you think that God is a Republican, as Mondale charges?

Q. Let him answer it.

The President. No. I have no answer to any of those things that what's-his-name said.

Q. Are religion and politics necessarily intertwined, as you said in Dallas?

The President. In the sense that I said it in Dallas, which none of you have correctly reported.

Q. Wait -- --

The President. The correct words to use is there is a wall of separation. And some anti-religionists are trying to break down that wall. And what I was saying was in the context of, yes, definitely, there is a connection between morality and politics, and should be, and too many neglect it.

Q. Will you meet with Gromyko?

Q. Sir, what's Mondale -- --

Q. Will you meet with Gromyko? Are you going to try to meet with Gromyko?

Q. I said that you'd come over, and I win.

Note: The exchange began at 3:28 p.m. on the South Lawn of the White House as the President was preparing to depart for a weekend stay at Camp David, MD.