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Secretary Rumsfeld Remarks on Condoleezza Rice's Nomination as Secretary of State

Presenter: Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
November 16, 2004

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Secretary Rumsfeld Remarks on Condoleezza Rice’s Nomination as Secretary of State

Q:  Mr. Secretary, just trying to get a brief comment from you on [Inaudible]. 

 

SEC. RUMSFELD:  On my meeting?

 

Q:  No, on Condi Rice and Steve [Inaudible] and you look forward to working with her? 

 

SEC. RUMSFELD:  Indeed.

 

Q:  Sorry. 

 

SEC. RUMSFELD:  I do, indeed.  I’ve known Condi for a good, many years, well before this administration started.  We are good friends and we have had a very close working relationship over the past four years.  She is an enormous talent.  She is experienced, very bright and as we all know, has a terrific relationship with the president, which I think is a very valuable thing.  Her replacement, I believe, has also been announced, Steve Hadley, who is again a person I’ve known over the years and have a great deal of respect for.  I think they will make up a very good team and the president’s made a very fine replacement.  

 

Q:  Mr. Secretary, also as you’ve pointed out yesterday in brief comments to it, despite your close relationship with her, it seems that there will always be tensions between the State and…

 

SEC. RUMSFELD:  Oh, I’m sure you folks will also try to make them. 

 

Q:  Well, I mean…

 

SEC. RUMSFELD:   [Laughs]

 

Q:  … will they not [Inaudible] defense and military policy, you said yesterday that that’s kind of traditional, that it happens and part of it was [Inaudible]

 

SEC. RUMSFELD:  Well, a president clearly wants to make sure, as any leader does, that that individual is hearing the different perspectives that are important to be considered in making important decisions.  It is the task, the responsibility, the duty, of people who are participating in the national security process to make sure that the issues are raised and discussed and the pros and considered and weighed and that the president knows their best judgment and their best advice.  And that’s what the law requires and it’s a healthy process, it’s been a good process. 

 

            I must say, as I look back over history, I’ve seen how that process has worked and I would say it’s worked very well in this administration.  And that the president, because he is so engaged in these issues, because he is a superb asker of questions and a prober of thoughts and ideas, that I have no doubt at all, but that – I mean, that Condi as secretary of state of the United States will represent our country exceedingly well and that she will be a very effective voice in the National Security Council process and that Steve Hadley will do the task of that post, which is a difficult one, to make sure that all of the different perspectives, statutory responsibilities, ideas are elevated and surface in a way that’s orderly and helps the president make the best possible decisions for the American people. 

 

Q:  Thank you.