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Interview on Fox and Friends With Steve Doocy

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Washington, DC
June 19, 2008

QUESTION: All right. Joining us right now from the U.S. Department of State, we have the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Good morning to you, Madame Secretary.

SECRETARY RICE: Good morning. Good morning.

QUESTION: How are you doing today?

SECRETARY RICE: I’m doing just fine, thank you, and you?

QUESTION: I’m doing fine, thanks. Is it true you get up at 4:30 in the morning and start working out?

SECRETARY RICE: It is true. It’s the only time that I can reliably do it, so I get up at 4:30 in the morning and drag upstairs and try to do some time on the elliptical.

QUESTION: All right. Well, I know you’ve got a busy day. You’re going to come up to New York City and we’re going to talk about that in a moment. But first, there’s – you know, so many people across the country are worried about the cost of oil and stuff like that. And I noticed today that apparently, there are four western firms that are close to signing oil contracts with the country of Iraq. And they include ExxonMobil, British Petroleum, Royal Dutch, and Total. Of course, firms haven’t had that kind of deal since Saddam Hussein nationalized the petroleum industry over 36 years ago. What’s this going to do for us and the cost of oil?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, first of all, the United States Government has stayed absolutely out of the matter of the awarding of Iraqi oil contracts. It’s a private sector matter. But I do think that it demonstrates that the private sector is beginning to get interested in Iraq, that it recognizes the tremendous potential for Iraq to become an even more major oil supplier. The security situation, of course, is improving. And the Iraqis, even though they need to pass an oil law, are beginning to attract investment. And that’s really a good sign and it will be a good sign if Iraq can increase its oil production, because of course, the supply and demand of oil is a major concern to all of us.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, we did a story yesterday about how it seems like there are now a lot of foreign investors who are going into Iraq. But mainly, there are other countries, there are international countries; China big over there right now, you’ve got Turkey big over there. It seems like everybody except the United States because a lot of big U.S. firms are saying, look, it’s – we get bad PR because the security is kind of iffy over there. What do you say to those CEOs who are thinking about investing in Iraq?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I do believe that the Iraqis are beginning to make a good case for foreign investment. Again, people have to make their own choices. You know, Steve, that the U.S. Government doesn’t get involved in the choices that private companies make. But Iraq is certainly a place to look at now, and you are seeing a lot of investment flow, particularly from the area around Iraq, from Turkey, from the Gulf. But Iraq is going to be a very good economy. They are making some decisions that will make it one of the most open economies for investment in the entire Middle East. It’s going to be far less statist and far more open than any other place in the Middle East.

QUESTION: Just one other note about oil in the United States. Are you confident that the Saudis are doing all they can to help us out?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I do believe, as the President had his conversation with the Saudis, that they are doing what they believe they can. Now, I think there are questions that they continue to look at about how much oil in the market, what kind of oil in the market. It’s a rather complicated matter. But in fact, the real question is: Is there something that can be done, because everyone worries about the health of the international economy. And any major supplier of oil like Saudi Arabia also has to worry about continuing the growth of the international economy, because if there is a slowdown, then it’s a problem for major producers.

QUESTION: Let’s talk a little bit about the international war on terror. There have been some barbs traded out on the campaign trail regarding some things that Barack Obama has said regarding the prosecution of any terrorist. He would treat it more like a law enforcement issue, whereas the Bush Administration is now – has taken the idea that it’s a special case and just look at Gitmo and stuff like that. Do you – you know, some have said that Barack Obama has got this pre-9/11 or September 10th mentality in his campaign. Do you agree with that?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I’m not going to comment on the campaign. I’m plenty busy trying to finish out the Bush Administration here and to work on the issues that we want to leave in good shape for whoever becomes president. 

But I will say this. In the war on terror, we have to recognize that this is a different kind of war. The problem with a law enforcement view of the war on terror is that with law enforcement, you investigate after something is done, you put people in detention after they’ve committed the crime, then you take them to trial. The long pole in the tent with terrorism is preventing a terrorist attack, because if somebody actually carries out the attack, then thousands of innocent people die, as happened here on September 11th

And so the key here is to find out before, and that’s a matter of intelligence, that’s a matter of being certain that you’re pursuing terrorists in their own backyard. It is a different kind of fight than we had prior to September 11th.

QUESTION: All right. Later today, you’re going to be traveling here to New York City to tie up the traffic around the United Nations.


QUESTION: What are you coming up here for?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I’m coming up for the UN Security Council. The United States is the president of the Security Council in the month of June, and it is traditional for the Foreign Minister to come up and chair one session. And I’m going to chair a session on women and violence. 

There is a resolution, Resolution 1325, that a group of women foreign policy experts and my foreign ministers – my foreign minister colleagues and I have been pressing to have more attention to it. It talks about the sad condition of women in conflict, where they’re often subjected to rape and violence. It also talks about the need for women to have equal access to justice around the world. There are so many places where, even if the laws are good, women don’t have access to justice. And in many places, the laws are clearly discriminatory against women. And so we’ll highlight that and try to get some attention to what is really a very important humanitarian issue.

QUESTION: There’s been a lot of speculation regarding who Barack Obama and John McCain are going to be selecting as their running mates. And I don’t know if you’ve read about this, but there are a lot of people who think that you would be a great vice presidential running mate for John McCain. To all those people who say, “Yeah, she would be on my short list too,” what do you say to them?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, thanks very much. Obviously, it’s dearly flattering to have people think that way. But no, it’s time for me to go back to Stanford. Eight years is a long time, particularly in the circumstances that we’ve gone through. I am quite certain that Senator McCain is going to find a really great running mate. He himself is a terrific patriot and I’m – he’s a good friend. But it’s time for me to do something else.

QUESTION: Oh, come on. You’d like the job.

SECRETARY RICE: No, no, I wouldn’t. Government service is a wonderful thing, Steve, but you have to know when your time is up. And it’s time for new blood and let us leave. And I’ve got six months still to try to complete some of the important tasks that the Administration’s taken on. The President’s got a very active agenda. We’re going to --


SECRETARY RICE: -- sprint to the finish. And then I’m going to sprint back to the West Coast.

QUESTION: And what are you going to do?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I’ll return to Stanford. I have a lot of issues that I’m interested in. I’m particularly interested in issues of global competitiveness for the United States. I’ve been a longtime advocate of concern about our educational system, because I consider it a national security priority to educate our people well so that we’re confident in leading and confident in competing. And I’m looking forward to going back to those issues.

QUESTION: All right. Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State for the United States of America, thank you very much for dropping by before you sprint up to New York City.

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you. Good to be with you.

QUESTION: You bet. Have a great day.

Released on June 19, 2008

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