Informal Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Meeting With Prime Minister Brian Mulroney of Canada

 

April 27, 1988

 

George Bush

 

Q. Mr. President, now that Vice President Bush has gone over the top, are you ready to officially end your position of neutrality in the Republican Party race?

 

The President. Well, I'm going to have to arrive at that since there are no others entering or not. It's so recent. I haven't even congratulated him yet -- which I'm going to do in a short while -- about his going over the top. But --  --

 

Q. But you are ready to do that, are you not, sir?

 

The President. Well, let us see.

 

Attorney General Edwin Meese III

 

Q. There's a story today in the Wall Street Journal, sir, about a secret plan of a number of your top advisers to pressure out Ed Meese. Are you aware of this?

 

The President. I shouldn't answer, but I have to tell you that, no, I'm not aware. And I thought the story was completely inaccurate.

 

Q. Would you support that kind of a plan, sir?

 

The President. No.

 

Q. Can you envision any circumstances under which you would ask the Attorney General to leave?

 

The President. Well, if he had a complete change of character.

 

Q. Mr. President, was the Gipper let down by the Orioles last night?

 

Acid Rain

 

Q. What are you going to say to the President about acid rain, sir?

 

The Prime Minister. Pardon?

 

Q. What are you going to say to the President about acid rain? You mentioned it in your speech.

 

The Prime Minister. Well, we're going to try and move along toward resolution -- a very --  --

 

Q. Do you expect one?

 

The Prime Minister.  --  -- complicated transboundary problem. I hope we get a solution. I don't expect anything within moments. But we have been making movement, and we hope to make a lot more.

 

Q. Do you really feel the U.S. is dumping garbage in your backyard, Prime Minister?

 

The Prime Minister. Pardon?

 

Q. Do you really feel the U.S. is dumping garbage in your backyard?

 

The Prime Minister. Oh, I think that it's very clear that acid rain has that effect on the environment in the Eastern United States and in Canada. Yes. That's a normal fact --  -- 

 

Q. Mr. President, are you going to respond to his concerns? Are you going to do something about acid rain?

 

The Prime Minister. Well, we've been trying to work on it --  -- 

 

The President. Yes, this will be a subject we'll be discussing.

 

Q. Mr. Prime Minister, why were your comments on acid rain considerably toned down from your recent statement in New York?

 

The Prime Minister. Did you think so?

 

Q. Yes.

 

Q. Yes, substantially.

 

The Prime Minister. Oh, maybe I'll be saying a few things later on today. This was a welcoming ceremony. It wasn't the United Nations. I'm going to be making three or four other speeches today, and I think that if you're interested in acid rain you won't be disappointed.

 

Q. Are you concerned, Prime Minister, that the United States is talking in Geneva about possibly increasing certain emissions?

 

The Prime Minister. Well, we'll be discussing the whole problem of acid rain momentarily. And I suppose -- within minutes. I'll let you know.

 

Q.  --  -- concerns about that should increase?

 

The Prime Minister. Yes, sure. The President knows that.

 

Note: The exchange began at 10:34 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House.