Three days after a news conference during which Texas Gov. George W. Bush was asked repeatedly about abortion, the campaign has concluded that the daily news conferences are "not in our best interest" and is canceling them unless it has a message to convey, a campaign spokeswoman said today.
On Thursday, Bush tried to steer news conference questions toward his tax fight with Arizona Sen. John McCain and an endorsement from an Iowa farm official. The next day, Bush again was frustrated when reporters asked primarily about abortion after a brief statement he made on the tax plan dispute with his rival for the Republican presidential nomination.
Campaign spokeswoman Mindy Tucker explained today that from now on, the campaign would have news conferences "when we have a message to put out." Instead of the typical one-a-day, 15-minute news conference, Tucker said, the campaign would try to make Bush available to reporters between campaign stops.
"It's not in our best interest," she said. "We have a message a day and we want to stick to it. We are not going to have one big, fat news conference on our schedule where everyone can come ask questions about what you think is the news of the day."
Communications director Karen Hughes said the abortion questions had nothing to do with cutting back on daily news conferences. "We'll continue to make him accessible," she said.