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Bush Holds Final Press Conference

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Monday, January 12, 2009; 4:00 PM

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Thank you.

Tapper?

We have been through a lot together. As I look to the room, I see Jake, Mike, Herman, Ann Compton. Just seemed like yesterday that -- that I was on the campaign trail and you were analyzing my speeches and my policies.

And I see a lot of faces that travel with me around the world and -- to places like Afghanistan and Iraq and Africa. I see some new faces, which goes to show there's some turnover in this business.

Through it all, it's been -- I have respected you. Sometimes I didn't like the stories that you wrote or reported on. Sometimes you misunderestimated me.

But always the relationship, I have felt, has been professional, and I appreciate it.

BUSH: I appreciate -- I do appreciate working with you.

My friends say, "What is it like to deal with the press corps?" I say, "These are just people that are trying to do the best they possibly can."

And -- and so, here at the last press conference, I'm -- I'm interested in answering some of your questions, but mostly I'm interested in saying thank you for the job.

QUESTION: Thank you for those comments, Mr. President.

Here's a question: I'm wondering if you plan to ask Congress for the remaining $350 billion in bailout money? And, in terms of the timing, if you do that before you leave office, sir, are you motivated in part to make -- make life a little bit easier for President-elect Obama?

BUSH: I have talked to the president-elect about this subject. And I told him that if he felt that he needed the $350 billion, I would be willing to ask for it.


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