President Reagan underwent a "routine" postoperative examination yesterday following his cancer surgery last July, and doctors at Bethesda Naval Hospital were quoted by the White House as saying the president has experienced a "100 percent complete recovery."
Leaving the hospital after a 51-minute examination, Reagan responded to reporters' shouted questions by saying, "100 percent complete recovery." The president then flew on to Camp David, Md., for the weekend.
In a notice to reporters issued earlier in the week, the White House had announced that Reagan would undergo exams including chest X-ray and blood tests. Presidential spokesman Larry Speakes refused to be more specific and said results of the tests would be made available next week.
Reagan underwent surgery July 13 to remove a cancerous tumor from his colon. Officials said he is to have another visual examination of the intestine in December.
The statement from the White House yesterday said the president was told by Dr. Dale Oller, chief of surgery at Bethesda who headed Reagan's operation; Dr. Edward Carrau, a Navy gastroenterologist, and presidential physician T. Burton Smith that they were "ecstatic" with Reagan's condition. The statement said that "the results of all of the postoperative tests were normal."
In an interview made public yesterday with television evangelist Pat Robertson, founder and president of the Christian Broadcasting Network, Reagan said that First Lady Nancy Reagan "is a very great worrier" and that since July's cancer surgery "I have recovered quicker than she did." The president said he and the first lady "don't have any secrets from each other" and "have always talked over everything together."
In the same interview, Reagan suggested that the Soviet Union had been successful in manipulating the American news media in advance of November's summit with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
"Well, I did begin to feel there for a while that when the summit started they'd be rooting for the other side," Reagan said. "He was wearing the white hat, and I was wearing the black hat. You know, that's an old Hollywood expression that you identify the villain by the color of the hat."
Reagan also said that as a percentage of the gross national product, the current federal deficit of about $180 billion "isn't as far out of line with past deficits. Some of them were just about as big as this one is in that percentage." The deficit reached a peak of 6.4 percent of GNP during Reagan's first term and has been running at about 5 percent. According to the administration publications, the deficit has not been that large a percentage of GNP since World War II, although it hit 4.5 percent during President Gerald R. Ford's term.
On another topic, Robertson said "word reached us" that White House staff members had gone to Iran seeking the release of Americans held captive in Lebanon. Reagan responded that "I can't really talk about what we are doing," out of concern for the six remaining U.S. hostages.
Other White House officials said no "deal" was made with Iran but would not comment on Robertson's remark about a trip to Iran by presidential aides.