Transcript from Aug 2, 2005 in the Rose Garden:
JC: Thank you all for coming. I am honored to have been in the public service for as long as I have. But the time has come for me to step aside and I’m looking forward to having more time to spend with my family. I will now open it up to your questions and concerns. Yes, you there Ted.
Q. Why now? Why not a couple of years ago?
JC: As many of you know, I have been in the White House for the past 5 years. It is a very demanding job. I fully support the president and his administration. There is no riff between the president and I. There just comes a time when One feels they are more needed in the private sector.
Q. Will you still be working with the president on a consulting basis?
JC: Yes, of course. The president and I will still talk everyday. I’m sure he’ll tell you all about our conversations as always. He paraphrases a lot…just note that. I should have mentioned that earlier, but anyway – next question?
Q. There is a rumor that you will be joining the Democratic Party. Could you confirm that?
JC: As I told you – I am not a partisan. Never have been. I know it’s been a weird 5 years for everyone. And that’s why I am getting out of politics all together.
Q. Will you be attending Justice Sunday II?
JC: Well, I wasn’t invited. Uhm…They didn’t say I couldn’t come but…uh…my Sundays are pretty busy anyway, so… Okay, next question?
Q. Jesus, your retirement is in the wake of the Rove/Plame scandal on on the eve of Bush’s appointment of John Roberts. Has that been a factor in your decision?
JC: No comment.
Q. Did Rove leak Plame’s name?
JC: No comment.
Q. Should Rove be fired?
JC: I said, no comment. Now, are they’re any other questions?
JC: No more questions? Well, if there are no more questions…Uhm, I look forward to, like I said, spending more time with my family. My family is quite large. So I plan on staying pretty busy. Really? You guys have no more questions for me? None at all? Wow. Okay, well I thank you all for coming. I won’t make you guys do this a second time – promise. Good night.