Example: [whitehouse.gov, 2004]
Remarks by the President to the Press Pool
Nothin' Fancy Cafe
Roswell, New Mexico
11:25 A.M. MST
THE PRESIDENT: I need some ribs.
Q Mr. President, how are you?
THE PRESIDENT: I'm hungry and I'm going to order some ribs.
Q What would you like?
THE PRESIDENT: Whatever you think I'd like.
Q Sir, on homeland security, critics would say you simply haven't spent enough to keep the country secure.
THE PRESIDENT: My job is to secure the homeland and that's exactly what we're going to do. But I'm here to take somebody's order. That would be you, Stretch
Q Right behind you, whatever you order.
THE PRESIDENT: I'm ordering ribs. David, do you need a rib?
Q But Mr. President —
THE PRESIDENT: Stretch, thank you, this is not a press conference. This is my chance to help this lady put some money in her pocket. Let me explain how the economy works. When you spend money to buy food it helps this lady's business. It makes it more likely somebody is going to find work. So instead of asking questions, answer mine: are you going to buy some food?
THE PRESIDENT: Okay, good. What would you like?
THE PRESIDENT: Ribs? Good. Let's order up some ribs.
Q What do you think of the democratic field, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: See, his job is to ask questions, he thinks my job is to answer every question he asks. I'm here to help this restaurant by buying some food. Terry, would you like something?
Q An answer.
Q Can we buy some questions?
THE PRESIDENT: Obviously these people — they make a lot of money and they're not going to spend much. I'm not saying they're overpaid, they're just not spending any money.
Q Do you think it's all going to come down to national security, sir, this election?
THE PRESIDENT: One of the things David does, he asks a lot of questions, and they're good, generally.
END 11:29 A.M. MST
Origins: This transcript, archived at the
After delivering his State of the Union address on
The President wrapped up his speech a bit before
According to cafe owner Armando Aceves, the President ordered pork ribs and buttermilk pie and autographed a menu. However, Jim Lakely of the Washington Times, a designated pool reporter for the Roswell trip, noted that the President was unsuccessful in convincing the reporters in question to purchase any ribs themselves. Once President Bush and his entourage were back on-board Air Force One with their take-out orders, someone from the White House staff sent some ribs back to the press corps. There wasn't enough to go around, though.
A letter writer to the Albuquerque Journal later noted that President Bush did not leave a tip when he departed. But, as that newspaper reported, the Nuthin' Fancy Cafe staff still ended up with a larger payment than they were expecting:
"And how many other people can say they had the pleasure and honor of having the president visit their place?" adds Patterson, who has worked at the cafe for three years.
Bush paid for the order with $30 in cash.
Patterson says the president called later from Air Force One and said, "You didn't charge me enough, and I'm going to send more money."
But Edward Zavala, Nuthin' Fancy's manager, says he told the president they didn't want any more money.
"We were willing to give him the meal free, but the president wanted to pay," Zavala adds. "We didn't care for the money. This was a once-in-a-lifetime deal."
Coleman, Michael. "From These Ribs . . ." Albuquerque Journal. 24 January 2004 (p. A8). Hoffman, Leslie. "Bush Touts Policies, Focuses on War on Terrorism During Roswell Visit." The Associated Press. 22 January 2004. Moskos, Harry. "Mr. Bush Paid Bill in Cash." Albuquerque Journal.. 8 February 2004 (p. C1).