Pres Bush comments on "guest workers" and energy from Cutting Edge archives

There is a major difference between network TV coverage and independent companies when it relates to archiving “what did he say and when did he say it.” It is also important to consider who was his (or her) audience at the time of elected official or candidate speeches.

Four months after 9-11 the Cutting Edge-atalk show received credentials from the White House to cover President George Bush during his January 5, 2002 Town Hall presentation at the Ontario Convention Center. Our coverage of that meeting can be viewed 24/7 at no cost by simply going to the archive section of our web site and scroll down until you find Bush Town Hall. I doubt that any network or cable TV company has retained that event where, years later, the public can see if the speaker is consistent with their message.

With the ongoing debate on the issues of energy independence “guest workers” and immigration I thought you might like to hear, and see if you choose, what President Bush had to say on that Saturday five years ago. This might give you some insight as to why he has taken the position that he has with respect to our southern neighbor, the country of Mexico. Sadly his dream sheet has not materialized. President Bush made some assumptions that were one sided. Creation of a middle class in Mexico.

Roughly four minutes into our tape, after Senator Brulte welcomed the audience, Mario Rodriguez, representing the Latino Coalition Foundation, said “Many elected officials have made many promises to our community..but very few have delivered. President Bush is one of the very few who has delivered and continues to deliver. President Bush has appointed more Latino’s to the highest levels of government than any other president in our history.”
It is worth noting that during his prepared remarks the president stated that “my most important job is the security and safety of the American people.” Does that preclude terrorists and or drug dealers who may be entering our nation from Mexico?

During the Q&A, 21-22 minutes into our tape, the second speaker asked: “Tell us something about your plans to end our dependency on foreign oil.”
President Bush’s response: “There you go…he brings up a very important point. Because in order to make sure our economy remains strong and vital in the long run
we need an energy plan.
Over 50 percent of our energy comes from overseas. Fortunately a lot of it comes from Canada, but a lot of it comes from the Middle East. And it seems like to me..we need to do a couple of things. 1. Find more oil in an environmentally friendly way. I think we can do this without drilling off the coast of California.”

“I know that we have the technology necessary to explore in places like Alaska without damaging the environment.”In reference to our power outages he said “I have worked with your governor to try to help get through this thing that CA has done is to expedite permitting for plants driven by natural gas. We better figure out where we get natural gas from…make sure we have ample gas for the future..we need to explore and can do so without damaging our environment.

In our own hemisphere, Mexico, which is obviously a vital neighbor, imports natural gas from the U.S. There is nothing more important for America than for Mexico to be strong and vibrant and have good growth.”

Gilbert Note: It’s hard to totally fault the President when Congress fails to support drilling for oil in ANWR. To date, we still lack a realistic energy plan.

The last person to question the President, 26-27 minutes into our program, was a man from Texas who asked: “As an American Mexican we face the problem with immigration. I’m very concerned and I want to ask you. What can we do to help solve the problem, not only of illegal immigration, but people living in the United states obtain proper papers to work.”

Pres Bush: “First. In the short term make sure I.N.S. functions. That the I.N.S. is able to expedite the paperwork for people who are legitimately here in the country and expedite the paperwork necessary so that families can reunite….If we believe in family values..bringing families together.

Yet we’re too bureaucratic when it comes to the I.N.S.
Second. We’ve got to understand that, in the past at least, there’ve been people who were trying to hire people, and people willing to work..makes sense to me to have a system to matching a willing employer with willing employee.

Thirdly. The long term solution is for Mexico to grow a middle class so that people don’t feel like they have to come here to work.”

Gilbert Note: Sadly that’s not happening.

The President went on to say: “Family values don’t stop at the Rio Bravo

If you’re somebody whose got children to feed–somebody, a mom or dad, whose got little ones to take care of and than make 50 cents (an hour) in a state in Mexico or they can make $5 (an hour) in America, the’re going to come to America if they believe in their children….If they have the same values you and I have… Values don’t stop.

It seems like to me that the best thing we can do is have a strong relationship with Mexico…a free trade relationship with Mexico…so that Mexico is more likely to grow a middle class.. which means that person who is willing to walk miles across the Texas desert to find work to feed their children will be able to find work closer to home..the stronger Mexico is the less pressure on our border.” The stronger Mexico is the more prosperity there will be in both of our countries.”

LG Thoughts. Pemex the state run oil company reserves are said to be reduced. They need an infusion of money for exploration and facility operation. That being the case, the 17 billion U.S. dollars being sent back to family members in Mexico from legal and illegal workers in America is perhaps their second largest source of revenue. Having read reports that the Mexican army is on our joint border protecting, or looking away, as Mexican citizens illegally cross the border tells me that their government has no interest in biting the hand that feeds their people. Creation of a Mexican middle class, from President Bush’s dream sheet, is simply that. Their government is not cooperating with our border patrols to stop the flow. What is sad is that the President seems to condone this illegal border crossing for humanitarian reasons.
Although I applaud that humanitarian viewpoint we must not lose sight that “we are a nation of laws that should be honored and enforced.”Sorry for this lengthy transcript which I hope is 100 percent accurate.

This Town Hall was co-sponsored by the Latino Coalition Foundation, Ontario Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Latin Business Association and the Orange County Hispanic Chamber.

Note: After the President left we participated with the press corps and interviewed Governor Gray Davis.

Larry Gilbert, Field reporter, CuttingEdge-atalkshow

What’s your thoughts about our “compassionate” President’s Jan 2002 comments?

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