Jones: (inaudible) I'd just like to say that it's been a real honor for me to have been the nominee for secretary of the Air Force. The President of the United Stated really did honor me by giving me this nomination. I've enjoyed very strong support of Secretary Cohen. And I can't thank those gentlemen enough.
In addition, I'd also like to thank Sen. Carl Levin and Sen. Strom Thurmond for their unwavering support. I appreciate all the staff who have been helpful here as well. So my plan now is to head back to Miami, Fla. this afternoon, hug my wife and kids, kiss them, tell them that I love them and continue running for the state senate of Florida.
Q: Do you think the process was fair?
A: I thought that the process was open and fair. It was a very long process. I think that not all the facts really got out as well as they could have been. But beyond that it's been a real education for me.
Q: Any animosity to your former squadron mates? A: I don't hold any animosity against any one. I never have and never will.
Q: Were you done in by your enemies?
A: Well, you know, like I said before. I never really thought I had enemies until I became the nominee for secretary of the Air Force. But, I think that it was an interesting process and that people... I have put my life on the line to defend this nation, and even though I may not agree with everything people say, and even about me, I will defend to the death their right to say it.
Q: Do you think that race was factor at all? A: I hope that it wasn't, but you would have to ask the people involved to really know that.
Q: Have you heard from the president? A: Not yet, but I hope to hear from him sometime soon.
Q: Do you expect any other appointments? Any other nominations for...?
A: Not right now. As a matter of fact, what I would like to tell you is that I've got a speech that I've got to make in Orlando on Friday, so I guess that I can say that I'm on my way to Disneyworld.
Q: ...that you would like to pass on to the next person coming into this process?
A: For this particular job? It's a difficult process sometimes. I hope that what I've gone through doesn't really keep high quality people from wanting to hold appointed office. I think that if some people see me go through this, it could be disheartening to them. However, I want to encourage people to go ahead and try to do their best and serve this country. I've always served this country. I've been associated with the military for some capacity since I was in 11th grade, in ROTC, through the Air Force academy, through active duty and even in the inactive reserves while I was going through law school. So, for a lot of years, and I think it's an honor to serve.
A: It's hard for me to know. None of the things that were talked about with respect to my nomination made logical sense to me. But then again, I'm looking at it from my point of view. So I would say that if you look at the record and if you look at - and if you try to put all the facts together, it's somewhat difficult to come up with a reason that makes a lot of sense.
Q: What was the biggest misperception that your detractors portrayed you?
A: The biggest misperception would probably be the - how I was grounded. Col. Dyches and I agree on every set of facts. We both agreed that -- we had a meeting, we both agreed that he asked me to either to take a ground job or face an FEB for flying. We both agreed that he asked me to calm down, go home, talk to my wife about it [and] come back and give him an answer. We both agreed that I came and gave him an answer. We both agreed that I would step in front of the squadron and announce that I was taking myself off flying status.
He told me that the point where we disagreed was that he thought that that was him grounding me and I know that AFR 60-13 says that that's not a grounding. So, I guess that's where we disagreed.
Q: Would ever consider retrying (?) again in consideration for instruction (?) ? A: No.
Q: Are you going to keep your reserve status?
A: Yes. I proudly serve in the reserve status (inaudible) that attitude changes and I don't know that that attitude's going to change.
Q: Sir, how do you sum up your Washington experience (inaudible) bad column(?)?
A: How am I going to sum up my Washington experience? As a real education and I've learned a lot from it and I think (inaudible) that if faced with a similar situation in the future of some that may be similar to this, that I've learned a lot from the experience, and I will take this history into consideration.
Q: (inaudible) A: In a heartbeat.
Q: What does this mean for your campaign?
A: It means I'm going to be a state senator for another four years. I think my constituency is very supportive. They didn't want me to leave in the first place, and they made that absolutely clear, in no uncertain terms. And they were supportive simply because they thought this was something that was good for me. I think - I hope that I'm welcomed back with open arms when I go back. I've got (inaudible), and we'll see how that goes in November.
Q: Do I hear that (inaudible) see that you would do this again? A: I love this country and I love the Air Force.
Q: Do you love the (inaudible) A: Ha, ha, that's...(inaudible). Thank you very much.