Transcript of Roundtable Interview

Tuesday, August 2, 2005; 12:04 PM

Here is the full text of the roundtable interview of President Bush by reporters from Texas newspapers on August 1, 2005, in the Roosevelt Room. The transcript was prepared by White House officials but not released immediately. For more information, see today'sWhite House Briefing columnby Dan Froomkin.

1:08 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thanks. It's about time you all gave me a chance to do the Texas press. (Laughter.) I'm looking forward to getting back down there. I just checked in with the house -- it's about 100 degrees. But no matter how hot it gets, I enjoy spending time in Texas.

And I have a busy couple of weeks down there, and I have a lot -- going to have meetings with people who come -- from my administration who come down, the economic people -- by the way, it's pretty good news today on industrial output, in case you're interested in writing some good news -- Rumsfeld and his team; Condi will come down.

I'll be doing some bill signings, go to New Mexico and sign the energy bill. Finally got an energy bill, after all these years the Congress got it -- and it's a good bill. It promotes our diversification away from hydrocarbons, helps improve the electricity infrastructure, begins us back on building some nuclear power plants, I hope. It really is the beginning stages of what will be a good start at diversification and less dependence on foreign sources of energy.

I'm going to sign the highway bill. Got a good highway bill, based on numbers, one that we came to Congress to agree on. They started much higher than I did, but in order to do my duty as the fiscal disciplinarian, we worked with Congress and got the bill down to a number I can live with. And I'll be signing that, as well.

Signing CAFTA tomorrow. We had a great legislative week. And, hopefully, when the Congress gets back, they'll reconcile their differences -- their narrow differences -- on the Patriot Act and get that bill to my desk early.

Oh, I remember how this town works. It wasn't all that long ago that some people were saying nothing was going to get done to the legislative session, and we got a lot done. And I want to thank the members of Congress for working hard. And one way to do it is to go to people's districts. That's what I did as governor, if you remember. That's what I'm going to do here; I'm going to take a couple of bill signings out of Texas.

And then I'm going to travel some out to the western states, out of Crawford. Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting down there and just kind of settling in. I'll be doing a lot of work; on the other hand, I'll also be kind of making sure my Texas roots run deep.

I'll be glad to answer a series of questions. Then I think we've got to go to work.

Q So who do you endorse in the governor's race?

THE PRESIDENT: That's your first question? (Laughter.) You can have two questions. Is that your first?

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