Bush Not Worried About Low Approval Ratings

BUSH: I've got ample capital and I'm using it to spread freedom and to protect the American people, plus we've got a strong agenda to keep this economy growing. The economy is strong. A good, healthy rate last year, productivity is up, we're creating jobs. The unemployment rate's 4.7 percent nationally. I mean, this is a strong economy.

And I talked to the Congress about how to make sure that we remain the leader in the world when it comes to economic vitality and growth for the good of our own people. And we've got a good, strong agenda, and I'm confident we'll be able to get a lot of the agenda through the Congress, including changing how we drive cars, getting unhooked from oil; including a competitiveness initiative that encourages research and development as well as educating children in math and science; health initiatives that empower the consumer and make sure the doctor-patient relationship is central to health care, health savings accounts.

We've got a very robust agenda, and I'm confident we'll get it through.

VARGAS: So you're not worried about that at all?

BUSH: No, listen, you know, I know people make a big deal out of these things. If I worried about polls, I would be -- I wouldn't be doing my job. And, look, I fully understand that when you do hard things, it creates consternation at times. And, you know, I've been up in the polls, and I've been down in the polls. You know, it's just part of life in the modern era.

I think the American people -- I know the American people want somebody to stand on principle, decide, make decisions and stand by them, and to lead this world toward a more peaceful tomorrow. And I strongly believe we are doing that, and I'm -- I got to tell you, I'm enjoying it. It's a fantastic opportunity.

VARGAS: Finally, Mr. President, one last question. Just a few days ago, the legislature in South Dakota passed the most restrictive abortion law in this country with the intention, they say, of getting that all the way to the Supreme Court. They would like the Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

Will your administration file a friend of the court brief on that?

BUSH: I haven't paid attention to that, to this particular issue you're talking about. I can tell you I will put people on the Court without a litmus test. In other words, I haven't said to these judges, you know, "Give me your opinion on this case if it would be coming your way." And, you know, their job is to strictly interpret the Constitution.

So I am not going to prejudge how the Supreme Court is going to judge a particular issue.

VARGAS: This law would outlaw abortion except when a mother's life was at stake. The life was at stake, not health. Would you support that kind of law being the law of the land?

BUSH: Well, that, of course, is a state law, but my position has always been three exceptions: rape, incest and the life of the mother.

VARGAS: Rape and incest you would include?

BUSH: Yeah.

VARGAS: What about health?

BUSH: Well, health is, you know, the life of the mother is how I view health.

VARGAS: So you would lump that together. It doesn't have to be she's going to die if she doesn't get this abortion.

BUSH: No. I said life of the mother, and health is a very vague term, but my position has been clear on that ever since I started running for office.

VARGAS: All right.

BUSH: Thank you, ma'am.

VARGAS: Thank you so much, Mr. President. We appreciate the time today.

BUSH: Glad you're here.

VARGAS: Thank you. Good luck with your trip.

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