[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents Volume 38, Number 23 (Monday, June 10, 2002)]
[Pages 962-963]
[Online from the Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]

Remarks at the Congressional Barbecue

June 5, 2002

    Welcome. Laura and I are really happy to give you all a taste of 
Texas. We want to thank our friends Asleep At The Wheel out of Austin, 
Texas, for your fantastic music. Thank you all very much. And I want to 
thank our friends from Buffalo Gap, Texas, the people who brought the 
food. That would be Tom Perini and--[inaudible]--we want to thank them 
and all the people who served the food. We want to thank you all for 
coming tonight.
    First I want to say something to the spouses and the family members 
who are here. Thank you for your service to the country. We appreciate 
your patience and we appreciate you supporting your loved ones in their 
important jobs of representing the greatest Nation on the face of the 
Earth, the United States of America.
    The last time we were supposed to have this party was on September 
the 11th. And we have come together here in Washington and around the 
Nation for a great and noble cause, and that is to defend freedom. The 
defense of our freedoms here in America is not a Republican calling or a 
Democratic calling; it is an American calling. And I want to thank all 
the Members of Congress.
    I want to thank you for your support here in Washington, and I want 
to thank you for going home to your districts and your States and 
explaining to our citizens, our fellow citizens, what's ahead. This 
country is patient, and this country is united, and this country is 
plenty tough when it comes to defending that which we hold dear. And a 
lot of it has to do with what you do when you go home, and I want to 
thank you for that a lot. It means a lot.
    It is much easier to be the Commander in Chief when the people are 
pulling in the same direction. And they're pulling in the same 
direction, much to the chagrin of the enemy.
    So it's our great pleasure to welcome you here. I know sometimes we 
have squabbles with the legislative branch. If only you did it the way 
the Vice President and I wanted you to do it, everything would be fine. 
[Laughter] But I admire--I admire those who serve in the Senate and the 
House. I admire your steadfast love of democracy, and I appreciate so 
very much your love of our country.

[[Page 963]]

    May God bless your work, and may God continue to bless America. 
Thank you all for coming.

Note: The President spoke at 7:48 p.m. on the South Lawn at the White 
House. In his remarks, he referred to Tom Perini, chuckwagon cook, 
Perini Ranch Steakhouse.