Informal Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Meeting With Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev


December 7, 1988


Q. Mr. General Secretary, do you expect an American response to your troop withdrawal announcement, sir?


President Gorbachev. I expect we're going to have a substantive meeting.


Q. Mr. President, what are you going to --  --


Q. Mr. President, has he taken a propaganda advantage with his major proposal today?


President Gorbachev. This is not serious.


Q. President Gorbachev --  --


Q. What's not serious?


President Reagan. I think we have to go into our meeting, and I just want to say that I am looking forward to and very pleased with this fifth and final meeting between President Gorbachev and myself. We've accomplished much; there are other things still to do. And I am also extremely pleased that Vice President Bush could be here for these meetings. And now I think we'd better go.


Q. Mr. Vice President, can you tell us what you're going to --  --


President Gorbachev. Let me add to what the President has just said. If we score any points, we can do it only together. If we try to score points alone, nothing good will happen.


Note: The exchange began at 1 p.m. on Governor's Island in New York, NY.


Informal Exchange With Reporters on Soviet Military Reductions in Europe


December 7, 1988


Q. So, Mr. President, what do you think of the General Secretary's proposal for troop draw-down in Europe?


President Reagan. Well, that wasn't a proposal. That was a decision that has been made.


Q. And what do you think of that decision, sir?


President Reagan. Naturally, I heartily approve.


Q. Are you going to do the same thing in Europe for our forces?


President Reagan. Well, there are going to continue to be conversations between us on that matter. But, certainly, I think that we certainly would adjust it if it would turn out that this left us with a superiority -- and we don't seek such a thing.


Q. And, Mr. Vice President, your reaction to the decision.


The Vice President. I support what the President says. [Laughter]


Q. That's safe. That's mighty safe.


The Vice President. Give me a ring on the 21st. [Laughter]


President Gorbachev. One of the best answers of the year. [Laughter]


Note: The exchange began at 1:42 p.m. on Governor's Island in New York, NY, following a meeting and luncheon with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.