Department of Justice Seal

Attorney General Remarks

American Society of Newspaper Editors Luncheon
April 4, 2001

ATTY GEN. ASHCROFT: I wish my mother had been here to hear it. My father would have been proud. My mother would have believed it. Thank you for that kind -- (laughter) -- that kind introduction. Thank you for explaining me to me. I've found myself to be an enigma most of my life. And my political career flashed before my eyes there: Losing and winning; and losing and winning; and losing -- It reminds me of the story of the -- I'll need your help on this.

It goes like this. I had a friend who fell out of an airplane. Everybody says, "Ooh. Ooooh." Are you guys really that reticent about -- (laughter) -- Maybe if I asked you to write it in print, you'd put it in big letters. (Laughter.)

I had a friend who fell out of an airplane. Ooh.


ATTY GEN. ASHCROFT: But he had a parachute on. Aah.


ATTY GEN. ASHCROFT: But the parachute wouldn't open. Ooh.


ATTY GEN. ASHCROFT: But he was headed for a haystack. Aah.


ATTY GEN. ASHCROFT: The haystack had a pitchfork in it. Ooh.


ATTY GEN. ASHCROFT: But he missed the pitchfork. Aah.


ATTY GEN. ASHCROFT: He missed the haystack. Ooh.


ATTY GEN. ASHCROFT: You know that's the way my career's been. You know -- (laughter) -- just a back and forth. It didn't dawn on me until you had had -- heh, heh, had recounted it for me there. It's had a few ups and downs. It does remind me of this event recently which you all covered, called the confirmation process. I hadn't fully appreciated the word process until passing a pork processing plant at home last month.

It dawned on me the reason for calling it confirmation; you first slit their throat, then you skin 'em, and you run 'em through the grinder. And I've been through the "process." (Laughter.)

And so, Dave, I thank you for your kindness. And, Rich Hood -- I don't know, wherever you are, Rich, I appreciate your friendship and the fact that you would have made it possible for me to come and share with you today. I'm grateful.

I'm pleased to talk directly to so many editors. Frankly, the computer world has led us to a more profound understanding of the idea "garbage in, garbage out." I think as a culture we've got to understand that we have some of that same phenomenon, and that if our inputs aren't high quality, we can't expect our outputs or production to be good. An industrialist once said, "Your system is perfectly designed to give you what you're getting." Well frankly, it is, and if you don't like what you're getting, you have to reconfigure how you're doing things.

And so you are in a position to help this country in a special way. And Gene's recounting of the role of newspaper and press individuals in the civil rights struggle was certainly an inspiring one because it demonstrates what kind of leadership can make what kind of difference. And I am deeply grateful.

Dave, thanks for talking about my religion and my faith. Some people find that uncomfortable. I do think -- it is against my religion to impose my religion on people. The law is the business of imposition. You impose very low standards, generally - because they're thresholds; everybody has to be able to obey them -- by mandates and impositions. Spiritual things don't set low standards for people, they set very high standards; they call us to our highest and best, and they're not the subject of mandates and impositions. The things of the spirit are the subject of inspiration and model, not imposition and mandate.

And separating those two things is an important part of what we do as a culture.

We don't want to be absent the law, which operates by mandate and imposition, nor do we want to be absent spirit and inspiration and model. But the two aren't the same, and they're different and they're distinguished. And I believe that a balanced culture and a society and frankly balanced people have an ability to repair the two sets of standards: those which are created by inspiration and model, and those which are demanded by mandate and imposition. The idea that one is the law and the other is to do with the spirit of mankind is an idea that has been accommodated for a long time in the American culture.

Well, I am delighted for this opportunity to speak with you. I want to say that I've just been at the Justice Department for two months now. That does not make me an expert when you realize what the Justice Department entails. It reminds me constantly that I have a lot to learn. I have 125,000 employees at the Justice Department, in INS and in the FBI and in the DEA, and the alphabet soup of Washington finds its recipe in large measure in the Justice Department. But I have begun to set what I believe is a clear agenda for the department based on President Bush's priorities and priorities which I totally share.

I believe that we have an opportunity at the Justice Department to help make America a more secure and safer place. Andreducing the incidence of gun crime is a top priority for me and for the president. We want to do that by enforcing current gun laws vigorously. Project EXILE, Project Cease-Fire are similar examples of enforcing laws in various parts of the country - Project EXILE in Richmond, Virginia; Project Cease-Fire in St. Louis and other settings -- of enforcing the laws and sending a clear message that our culture does not tolerate the use of guns in the commission of crimes.

In Richmond, it had one of the higher murder rates in the country and an exploding violent crime problem when the project began in 1997. Homicides dropped 48 percent, the lowest level since 1983. Crimes involving guns plummeted by 65 percent when it became clear that prosecution would follow those who used guns in the commission of a crime. Aggravated assaults have dropped by 39 percent, the overall number of violent crimes has dropped by 35 percent. This is one way for us to say to the American culture You shouldn't have to move to live in a safer neighborhood; we can change the way we enforce our laws to elevate your capacity to live in security as a person and the security of your property as well, and we can do it by enforcing the law.

Frankly, there are other things that may be done in terms of guns and the possession of guns. The Juvenile Brady Law banning juvenile possession of assault rifles is something I sponsored when I was in the United States Congress. The right kind of funding for trigger locks and devices that provide for safety, those are a part of the president's budget proposal. But I want to make sure that we do our best to reduce the impact in incidents of violent gun crime in this culture.

Second, I want to make it a priority to combat drug use. The latest statistics show us that drugs are permeating far too many of our communities. Drug abuse is not bound by social class or by geography. It is affecting our nation's children at an alarming rate. There is a clear link between drugs and violence. You all witness this in a more direct and clear way than most. Murder, assault, robbery, prostitution are crimes that are frequently associated with the influence of drugs, maybe motivated by the need to obtain money to secure drugs. Drug use has had a devastating cost to our economy and to our culture.

I've developed a working group at the Department of Justice, studying the latest statistics identifying the problem, identifying actions that I think can be taken.

Thirdly, I think it's important that for a law to be the kind of influence in the culture, all members in the culture have tobelieve that the law is designed to protect them. All members of the culture have to understand that the law can reach them if they violate the law. And when people think about the law as being a category in which certain individuals are favored, we have a very serious problem, because the law instead of becoming a friend to all is an agency favors some. Now, I've launched an initiative at insuring the enforcement of civil rights including especially targeting voting rights, and I've asked that

there be new attorneys assigned to the Civil Rights Division. We have assigned eight new attorneys to the Civil Rights Division to help states with election law reform, to help states in localities with election monitoring, to ensure that voting rights are not being denied or defrauded.

Now, simply in the area of civil rights relating to voting, are these key components: Access to the ballot and the integrity of the ballot.

Anytime the integrity of the ballot is interfered with, people are denied their right to vote, and anytime access to the voting place, obviously, is interfered with, the civil rights of citizens have been interrupted and in a way that simply cannot betolerated.

I've also begun work on the issue of racial profiling. This was a concern of mine in the United States Senate. Of recentcampaign finance reform fame, Russ Feingold, the senator from the state of Wisconsin, he and I conducted hearings on racial profiling -- the first hearings in the United States Senate -- for citizens who have committed no crime, have been stopped only because of their race. I believe that undermines and erodes their ability to have confidence in the legal system and to participate constructively in that legal system.

Too often -- and incidentally, any incidents make the incidence too often -- people have been stopped for "driving while black," rather than having made some infraction, and it's time for us to put an end to treating people based on their race and to apprehending them or otherwise asking them to encounter the law enforcement community in a way which is disrespectful merely because they are not of one race or another.

The Justice Department, of course, is undertaking a review of all federal law enforcement agencies and policies with regard to race, to make sure that we don't inappropriately deal with people based on their race. It's unacceptable for the federal government to do so. I think it's wrong for any government to do so. I believe it to be a breach of the constitutional rights of individuals if they are interfered with or otherwise treated in a way which singles them out because of their race.

I have asked the Congress, and the president of the United States, I think, is eager to work in this respect to fund the kind of study that would be appropriate for state and local governments to assess what's happened and what the situation is in regard to the potentials and the existence and practices that might relate to profiling at the state and local level. Obviously, at the federal level, I am taking action to review all of our policies, and those include policies related to training, discipline, the correction of any instance or circumstances in which there is illegal, inappropriate racial profiling.

For each of these three priorities -- reducing gun crime; making sure that we, again, target illegal drug use as a real threat to the security of our culture; and to making sure that we eliminate discrimination -- we are taking action in order to achieve, I think, a real benefit to this culture.

But one of the things that I profoundly understand is that America is much bigger than the American government, and that if we ever achieve the kind of success we want as a culture, it won't be only because we have the right laws; it'll be because we go beyond the laws to the citizenry to have -- and to exercise responsibility in ways that are very helpful and constructive.

Now, this may tell you something about the deep intellect which resides between my ears, but one day I was -- I don't know why -- rethinking the little jingle from the nursery rhyme, "Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall; all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty together again."

And I thought to myself, "Hmm."

And I think I said it over again and with the emPHA'sis on the wrong sylLA'ble, if you will forgive me. "Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall; all the KING's horses and all the KING's men couldn't put Humpty together again." And it dawned on me that this is not a statement that we can never repair or remediate the pathologies that attend and follow calamity, but it's just that the KING's horses and KING's men may not be able to do it themselves, to bring that into the modern era. It may well be that Humpty Dumpty needs repair and that the government resources aren't enough to repair the culture by themselves, but that we need to elicit the help and the participation of the entirety of the culture, not just the government of the culture.

And one of the things that's so profoundly inspiring about this president is that he sees the cultural assets and the remedial assets for America as being the assets contained in the culture, not just the assets contained in the government. Witness his willingness to elicit, encourage and otherwise elevate those who would remediate pathologies in our culture who are outsidegovernment, his faith-based initiatives program and the like. It says we need to welcome every quarter of response that can somehow improve our standing.

Similarly, I think, when it comes to the issues of the Justice Department, we have to understand that law enforcement, personal security, integrity, equity, compassion, the abolition of discrimination is far too important to expect to achieve it all in the Justice Department alone. We have to be -- those who believe that the KING's horses and KING's men probably can't get it done alone, but we have to elicit the participation and help of a lot of others.

Since October of 1995, we've had an outbreak, if you will -- maybe that's too strong a term -- of school shootings. Nineteen schools across the country, that I know of, have had well-publicized shootings. In each of these cases, what the king could do in a lot of these cases was done. The laws were against this activity. There were even people whose responsibility itwas to prevent this activity. Government funding. In the most recent cases, in El Cajon, California, one of the schools we had just recently given several hundred thousand dollars to for a program to try to mitigate or otherwise deal with the problem of bullying among students, and yet you find yourself with a student who comes to the school violating laws, obviously not remediated by the program, who fires the rounds.

It's pretty clear to me that we have to do something more than just have the laws and just have the programs. Whether it be the $4 billion in aid programs that flows out of the Justice Department to cities, towns, school districts and other instrumentalities around the country, we're going to have to understand that we need to elicit the help of the entirety of the community to address these problems.

That's why it's so important for us to be responsive to the president's call for an "era of responsibility." I think having a culture of responsibility is the ultimate objective that we need. Frankly, if you try to just stack up enough laws to remediate the absence of any restraint in people and by the culture, you'll find yourself in a police state with a great need for police. But if the culture can be responsible, you don't need nearly as many laws and you find yourself in a survivable community where people respect one another. This is not to say that we don't want laws or don't need them, but it is to say that we need more than laws in order to live the way you and I want to live.

And so it's with that in mind that I think that we need to begin to call upon each other for a level of responsibility in what we do to improve and promote the kind of opportunities we want and the kind of communities in which we live. We need to ask ourselves, how does the kind of exposure to violence in our culture that we provide really affect the way in which we live? What does it do to children who spend -- and see hundreds of thousands of acts of violence on television, who are conditioned in video games to do things which are abhorrent to the human spirit initially, but when the searing of the conscience takes place over and over again, does make a difference.

It was very interesting that Kentucky, the Paducah, Kentucky shooter had never used a real handgun in his life before the Paducah, Kentucky setting, yet he managed to fire eight shots, hitting eight different students, all in the upper torso or the head, using the pistol. And the FBI folks at the Department of Justice tell me that the average experienced law enforcement officer at the range would have hit one bullet in five.

Michael -- the young student had learned how to aim from extensive playing of video games.

Now, I'm not here to say we shouldn't have video games. But I'm here to say that we are poorly situated to deny that these kinds of settings have an impact on what we do. And a responsible approach to what we condition ourselves for is going to have an impact on how we live. Eric Harris, one of the Columbine shooters, had played the Doom video game. He'd even gone so far as to program the video game to look like his neighborhood, complete with the houses of the people he hated. Obviously, I think some of these things have an influence on us.

Those who have studied the effects of entertainment violence have found the following. Of the 22.3 million children ages 12-17, 9 million have actually witnessed serious violence. And if they've been involved in the kind of witnessing of violence that then proliferated on television, it reinforces that impact. As far back as 1972 the U.S. Surgeon General has said that violent imagery on television translated into more aggressive behavior by children and adolescents.

Now, what does this mean to us? It does not mean that we abolish or abandon or otherwise impair the First Amendment of the Constitution. It does mean to us, though, that we ought to think carefully about who we are as a culture and society and how we ought to respond. And the idea of responsibility for people is a concept that needs to be elevated in our consciousness.

One of the things that was encouraging in the last several months is in the midst of some of these school shootings we learned about schools where some students had reported potential problems early enough for intervention to take place sothat aggressive acts that had been planned against students were curtailed. That's a responsible exercise of citizenship on thepart of those students. The compelling question is what do we do in order to exercise higher levels of responsibility? We live in a culture of violence, and it's going to take more than government to address it.

Everyone has to have a role, whether it's the teacher who notices a student in isolation and has the ability and hopefully has the capacity to call on someone for intervention, whether it's a classmate hearing someone joking about bringing a gun to school, that's something that's important. A news reporter covering a recent school shooting may have a way of writing a story which will be helpful, or a video game manufacturer. And they have to understand that there's a certain responsibility in the development of video games. We all have responsibility to do what we can to make sure that a culture of violence doesn't overtake a culture of responsibility. In taking responsibility for our culture there are some things that I think have been done that are effective.

In May of the year 2000, Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan asked major retailers to enforce a rating system and stop selling ultra- violent video games to minors. Video games with an "M" rating are not recommended for children under 17. In a statewide operation, he had learned that 32 of his 32 instances where he sought to have children purchase those games, 13-year-olds, they were able to purchase the M- rated video games without question. Obviously, this is not the optimum interms of responsibility. On Attorney General Ryan's behalf last year, I joined with nine other senators to encourage retailers to enforce the ratings system. Retailers can take responsibility and help end the culture of violence.

And parents have an important role to play as well and, frankly, it always stuns me when I say parents have an important role to play. Well, if that isn't stating the obvious, nothing is. But these games are not only available in retail stores. On the Internet, you can download a game called "Dope Wars." Let me read to you what the Internet site says about this game. "In 'Dope Wars,'" quote, "for Windows, you must make your money by buying and selling a variety of drugs while avoiding various hazards such as cops and muggers." It goes on to say, and I quote, "If you're lucky, you'll have the opportunity to purchase a gun or an overcoat with extra pockets." Now, these kinds of situations where individuals are conditioned to be involved in the kind of activity that we want to curtail are a challenge to us, and we need to be responsible.

Parents must take responsibility for things their children come into contact with as much as is humanly possible, and we would call upon the parents of this country to exercise their citizenship responsibly. If students hear a fellow classmate talking about committing a violent act, they should report it; and we should make it easy to report. I've noticed recently that each time a school shooting occurs, there's an enormous media coverage of the event. I have to wonder how much news coverage plays into the copycat incidents that seem to follow quickly after these high profile events. You know, I think we need news reporting, and all of us understand that, but we have to report in such a way that we believe minimizes the risk. There's a balance in what we could do.

Obviously, as editors of newspapers, you have responsibility as well. You're in a position every day where you make decisions about how violence is portrayed in your particular publications. What can you do to send the message to school kids that violence is not an acceptable way to handle problems? And further, how can your editorial pages raise publicawareness about how violence desensitizes children to violence? How can you call on the common good to work for an outcome to these challenges that is favorable?

Maybe your paper is in the same town as the headquarters of a large retailer that's enforcing the M rating system on violent video games. An editorial saying that you commend the retailer for enforcing these rating systems would be a way foryou to say positively that we want to have a culture of responsibility that results in the kind of community that all of us wants to live in.

We all have to do our part as citizens to replace the culture of violence with the culture of responsibility, and the Justice Department is not the sole agency for achieving these ends. As a matter of fact, as is said in the nursery rhyme, "All the king's horses and all the king's men can't put Humpty together again." It doesn't mean that our culture can't be what we want it to be or what it ought to be, it just means that it's a bigger challenge than that which government alone can respond constructively to.

Justice is the business of all of us. As citizens of this great nation, I hope -- and as newspaper editors and opinion leaders of this great nation, I hope that you will think about ways in which you can join in our effort to have the kinds of communitiesthat allow individuals to grow up and reach maturity and live lives in dignity and respect, and that's free from discrimination, free from the threat of violence, and free so that individuals, when they reach maturity, and after the young people have left school, that they can make the kind of contribution that will improve the culture in which we live.

Thank you very much. It's a pleasure to be with you today. (Applause.)

MODERATOR: Thank you very much, General.

The attorney general has agreed to take a few questions. He said he'd take a few; he's not quite sure he'd answer them. (Laughter.) But we'll give him a shot.

Only ASNE members may ask questions. If you'll go to the microphones, and when you're called on, please state your name and your newspaper.

And, General, while they're going to the mikes, let me ask a question of you.

I think most of us in here could agree with you about the stupidity and the irresponsibility of a video that describes police in the manner that you stated, hazards. What we worry about often is how you deal with that, apart from the obvious condemnations of a columnist or an editorialist, and how someone like you, particularly, with official power would deal with that.

Do you see any possibility of the restriction of current First Amendment rights in dealing with that kind of a situation?

ATTY GEN. ASHCROFT: You know, if I were one to believe that the only solutions were governmental, I might be willing to trade First Amendment rights for an improvement in the culture. Frankly, I don't think trading First Amendment rights is a way to improve the culture. I think the openness of our system to the exchange of ideas that are sometimes even very challenging to us or sometimes very threatening to us, I am loath to suggest that we would make any impairment of our First Amendment.

And that's why I don't want -- I don't really think that the answer is in law. I think the answer is in the culture.

Rights have to do with what happens under the law, and I think the responsibilities that I'm talking about are things that we do as a culture. So I would, frankly, hope that we could expect people to restrain themselves both in the production of certain kinds of entertainment and restrain themselves in the kinds of things they would say, and also people would restrain themselves in the kinds of things they would consume, and then we would commend those things that are done well.

I think one of the ways to look at it is, think how miserable a life we would lead, though, if everyone exercised their First Amendment to the fullest -- First Amendment right to the fullest, to say every obnoxious thing they had a right to say. It would be miserable. And what we really do as we make a culture, we make this world a livable place not because the law tells us that it's got to be livable, but because we've decided as a culture we want to be responsible about what we say to each other and what we say about each other. And I think that's what we have to do. I do not favor changing the First Amendment in any respect.

MODERATOR: A question here.

Q Hi. I'm David Levine (sp), editor of the Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

ATTY GEN. ASHCROFT: Is that of the great Johnstown flood?

Q Yes, it sure is.

ATTY GEN. ASHCROFT: Oh, my goodness. Never mind.

Q Mr. Ashcroft, in the last couple of years, we've had two reported incidents of racial profiling in our community, and a number of members of our black community have said it happened it a lot more but they've never reported it. In response, our newspaper has editorially called for a federal investigation, and indeed the local FBI said they are currently conducting one. Actually, they told us that a little more than a year ago, and there's been no reports.

I've heard similar incidents around the country. I'm wondering if you're going to become a lot more aggressive in overseeing these. And also, can you tell us what might have happened to that Johnstown investigation?

ATTY GEN. ASHCROFT: Well, frankly, I can't comment on that investigation. I don't know about it.

And frankly, if I did know about it, while it was pending as an investigation I probably wouldn't be able to respond to it.

You know, sometimes congressional hearings may seen like mind- numbing, boring settings. But I agreed to hold a hearing on racial profiling, and an Army sergeant who had probably spent I think 13 or so years defending America told a rather heart-rending story about how he tried to drive through one of our Midwestern states, taking his son to a family reunion, and was stopped twice in one day. The car was virtually disassembled on two separate occasions, and he had no infractions. And I thought to myself, this is wrong.

And the question about will I be more active in this respect and do I want this as a priority to end this, I certainly do. I believe first of all that it is wrong for a government to differentiate people based on race. I believe to discriminate based on race is against the United States Constitution. And on that basis we're going to do whatever we can to find any places that it exists or any policies that might move and tilt in that direction. And we're going to try to train so that we don't have that happen. And we'll try to discipline so that it can't happen and take what action is necessary to eradicate it from the federal system.

We've asked for the study to be conducted among state and local jurisdictions because we would like for state andlocal jurisdictions to become aware and to cooperate with them in whatever way possible we can to avoid and to eliminate this kind of discrimination. There are matters that are ongoing that as a result of examinations in terms of police departments called pattern and practice investigations that relate to certain of our laws, and those are ongoing in a number of American cities in which the Justice Department has acted specifically to try and remediate the threat to individual liberties that comes as a result of discrimination.

MODERATOR: The briefer the questions and, perhaps, the answers, the more we'll get in. (Light laughter.) Over here, please.

Q Mr. Ashcroft, I'm Margaret Sullivan (sp) with the Buffalo News in Buffalo, New York. French authorities say they will not extradite James Kopp in the murder of Buffalo abortion provider Dr. Barnett Slepian if he faces the death penalty. Would you consider dropping the federal charge against him that carries the death penalty -- that is, committing a serious crime with a firearm -- since he already faces a state murder charge and the federal FACE Act charge that could put him behind bars for life?

ATTY GEN. ASHCROFT: Well, first of all, thank you for the question. I want to commend the FBI for their outstanding work, and I want to thank Canadian authorities, Irish authorities, the French authorities, and the authorities in Great Britain for helping us bring this individual to a place where he could be restrained. And I believe we will extradite this individual. We will extradite Mr. Kopp, and we will bring him to justice. And I think for me to comment further about the circumstance would be inappropriate. We do not intend that he not be brought to justice.

MODERATOR: Terry? We've got time for two if they are fairly quick.

Over here.

Q Mr. Ashcroft, I'm Bill Sturenberg (ph) with USA Today. About 280 survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing, and relatives of the victims, are seeking to watch the execution next month of Timothy McVeigh. Will you allow a closed circuit TV feed to either a separate room in Terre Haute or back to Oklahoma City?

ATTY GEN. ASHCROFT: All of us, especially at this -- during the month of April, remember the great tragedy, and our hearts go out to these families. I intend to meet with these families shortly and confer with them before announcing a final decision of the Department of Justice on the way in which this matter will be conducted. But it's with a view toward meeting the needs of these families and being sensitive to their concerns that we will make this decision.

I've asked the Bureau of Prisons to present a plan to me, but before I act on that plan, I want to confer with the individuals in Oklahoma, the families of the victims, and that will take place shortly.

MODERATOR: Okay, the last question will be from over here.

Q Okay, thank you. I'm John Block (sp), the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Mr. Ashcroft, here is another one on McVeigh. You went to Yale. Yale's son, Nathan Hale, was known for being a martyr and saying, "I regret that I have only one life to lose -- or give for my country." In all likelihood, Timothy McVeigh will make some kind of a comment like that, and some on the far right will likely regard him as a Nathan Hale-like martyr.

I wonder if you could share with us your personal feeling about McVeigh and his likely execution in about six weeks?

ATTY GEN. ASHCROFT: Well, first of all, I want to make it clear that I don't think McVeigh has anything in common with Nathan Hale. A person who was willing to die for his country is a far cry from someone who is willing to try and kill women and children and the defenseless in a cowardly act of terrorism. And so Nathan Hale and Timothy McVeigh haveabsolutely nothing in common.

I do not want the execution of Timothy McVeigh to become any kind of an event which would promote his objectives. And, obviously, he would be interested -- I think it's clear that he's indicated that he would be interested in making a certain statement to the effect of how -- somehow he is the tragedy here. He is a tragedy in terms of having done what he has done, but the tragedy is his assault on a free society and culture and on innocent, peace-loving individuals. And the fact that he must be responsible for his crime is the appropriate outcome in a culture that rejects what he has done, and should reject what he has done, unequivocally.

Thank you all, very much. It's a pleasure to have been with you. Thank you for all you do for America. Thank you. (Applause.)