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Bush Says He Can’t Guarantee Taxes Won’t Go Up

September 5, 1989

NEW YORK (AP) _ President Bush says he will fulfill his campaign pledge to fight for ″no more taxes,″ but that he can’t guarantee Congress won’t act ″in strange and mysterious″ fiscal ways.

″What I’m trying to do is fulfill that pledge by going forward step by step on the budget without raising taxes,″ said Bush in an interview with British journalist David Frost on the lawn of his home in Kennebunkport, Maine.

When asked whether he is committed to the tax pledge for his full four-year term, the president said, ″We’re going to succeed this first year ... and then we’ve gotta see what happens, but it is my intention to fight every inch of the way for no more taxes.″

″I can’t guarantee it to you,″ he said, ″but what I’ve found, I’ve found a reality in life. The reality is the United States Congress. And they act in strange and mysterious ways.″

The interview, in which Mrs. Bush also participated briefly, was taped Aug. 29 and is scheduled for broadcast Tuesday at 8 p.m. on the Public Broadcasting System.

The interview touched on the future of relations between the United States and Iran. Asked if he expects to renew diplomatic ties with the Islamic state, Bush replied, ″I’d like to think we could see that day, and I’d welcome it.

″But there has to be a certain modicum of international decency,″ Bush said, referring to the reported link between Iran and terrorist groups holding U.S. hostages in Lebanon.

″From time to time their officials make statements indicating they have some control over that situation,″ he said. ″That’s got to change dramatically, before there can be the kind of relations that I personally would like to see with Iran.″

Bush, who admitted to ″sometimes getting emotional,″ lashed out at those responsible for the death of Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins, a U.S. hostage who had been held in Lebanon. A photograph of his body hanging from a noose was released to a Western news agency and on July 31, a pro-Iranian Shiite faction claimed responsibility for his death.

″When I saw Colonel Higgins’ body displayed in that brutal, cruel fashion, I had this visceral reaction of wanting to do something. I still want to do something. ...

″If I could find a way to surgically go in and free those American hostages, I would do it,″ the president said.

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