Bush to Address Nation About Economic Crisis Friday

By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 9, 2008; 6:56 PM

President Bush, who has said little publicly during this week's prolonged market dive, will make a statement about the crisis tomorrow morning in the Rose Garden, the White House said late today.

Press secretary Dana M. Perino said Bush will "assure the American people that they should be confident that economic officials are aggressively taking every action to stabilize our financial system."

Bush will say that his administration has "the necessary tools to address the problem" and that Treasury is "moving quickly to use new tools to improve liquidity, which is the root cause of this problem," Perino said.

"Americans should be confident that every effort is being taken to stabilize our markets," Perino said.

Bush has talked little this week about the ongoing market collapse, squeezing in brief remarks at unrelated events or, as he did on the way back from a long weekend in Texas, taking a few minutes to make a statement.

This morning, Bush said during an appearance with the president of Slovakia that the administration would continue to take "strong action." At an Hispanic Heritage Month celebration in the afternoon, he added he was "confident in our economy's long-term prospects."

"We'll get through this deal," Bush said.

During today's White House press briefing, Perino indicated Bush would support a government move to buy shares in troubled U.S. banks if Paulson decides to do so.

"It was a part of the rescue package that the president supported, and it gives the Treasury secretary a range of possibilities, and investing in banks directly was one of those authorities," Perino said. "Secretary Paulson can use that authority as he sees fit."

Perino also said Bush was inclined against direct government intervention until "he realized that it wasn't just a few executives on Wall Street who were going to lose their shirts, but it was possibly everyone in America."

"Now if you look around the world, everybody is suffering," she added.

Later tomorrow, Bush is scheduled to travel to Florida and South Carolina for most of the day. He will attend a pair of closed GOP fundraisers, meet with a group of Cuban-American leaders, and participate in a photo opportunity with the 2008 Little League Softball World Series Champions, according to his official schedule.

On Saturday, Bush is scheduled to meet at the White House with finance ministers from the Group of 7 industrialized nations and is likely to make another statement then, administration officials said.

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