Office of the Press Secretary
(Kampala, Uganda)

For Immediate Release March 24, 1998


Foundation for International Community Assistance
Wanyange, Jinja District, Uganda

THE PRESIDENT: You know, one thing I did not say in my remarks I think I should point out here, just because of the press here, in explaining this to people -- all these people who get these loans, they don't have balance sheets, most of them. They don't have an asset and liability sheet for which they could get a normal commercial loan. What they have is proven skills and a good reputation for being responsible.

The repayment rate in this FINCA program and throughout all these programs across the world is 98 percent -- 98 percent of these loans are paid back on time. And that's why I say we do $2 million -- I wish we were doing $100 million. I mean, I can't think of anything else where we have invested money that has a 98 percent success rate. It's a stunning thing, just because of this fine woman and people like her all around the world. It?s an amazing thing.

Good for you.

We want to see your baby. (The baby is named after the President.)

MRS. CLINTON: Will you bring your baby down?

MRS... MUSEVENI: How old is he?

MOTHER: Two days.

THE PRESIDENT: My boy, Bill. Oh, he's beautiful. Look at all this hair. I was completely bald until I was two.

Your fourth child? Thank you for doing this. Why did you name this child after me?

MOTHER: I was expecting two things this month, the baby and the visit of the President. And I got both.

THE PRESIDENT: Look how beautiful he is. He just woke up. The smartest person here.

Q Mr. Clinton, what else has impressed you today?

THE PRESIDENT: About this stop? Well, the income that -- these are people that start out borrowing $50 in American money. They pay it back, they get another loan; they pay it back, they get another loan. It's like they're making all these markets -- or entrepreneurs -- you can turn a country around doing this if you have enough. But it really proves that people should not be written off just because they happen to be born and grow up in a poor area.

It proves that they are people of intelligence and energy and character, everywhere in the world. All they need is a chance. And insofar as we give them a chance, we strengthen nations and we strengthen our future. And in our case, the American people are better off. It's a fabulous thing. And I got a little boy out of it.

He's beautiful. Thank you so much.

Q Mr President, we haven't yet had the opportunity to ask you about your decision to invoke executive privilege, sir. Why shouldn't the American people see that as an effort to hide something from them?

THE PRESIDENT: Look, that's a question that's being asked and answered back home by the people who are responsible to do that. I don't believe I should be discussing that here.

Q Could you at least tell us why you think the First Lady might be covered by that privilege? Why her conversation might fall under that?

THE PRESIDENT: All I know is -- I saw an article about it in the paper today. I haven't discussed it with the lawyers. I don't know. You should ask someone who does.

Q There is speculation, sir, you're glad to be out of Washington for a couple weeks. Is that the case?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I'm glad to be doing the business of the United States and the people. I've looked forward to this for years. And I think most Americans want me to do the job I was elected to do. And so I'm going to try to do what most people want me to do.

Q What was your reaction to the crowd yesterday? We saw -- the pictures were pretty dramatic.

THE PRESIDENT: I thought it was wonderful. I've never seen so many people at an event. But what I was concerned about, there were two people there who were just wedged between the crowd and the barrier, and I was afraid they would be hurt or perhaps even killed, if we didn't get room for them. And they got them out and it was fine. It was a wonderful day. I loved it. Q Have you talked to Boris Yeltsin, Mr. President? THE PRESIDENT: No.

[Footer icon]

[White House icon] [Help Desk icon]

To comment on this service,
send feedback to the Web Development Team.