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On Board the Royal Airplane
Q Is the White House concerned about the protests that are planned in Salt Lake City today?
MR. DUFFY: The President addressed that directly. He can understand that people don't share his view that we must win the war on terror, and we cannot retreat and cut and run from terrorists, but he just has a different view. He believes it would be a fundamental mistake right now for us to cut and run in the face of terrorism, because if we've learned anything, especially from the 9/11 Commission Report, it is that to continue to retreat after the Cole, after Beirut and Somalia is to only empower terrorists and to give them more recruiting tools as they try to identify ways to harm Americans.
So he believes that people have a fundamental right to express their views. That's one of the reasons we're fighting this war on terrorism, to protect our fundamental rights. But at the same time, he disagrees strongly.
Q Cindy Sheehan's group is airing commercials in Utah, again asking the President to meet with her. And there's going to be protests planned. Is the President -- does he know about these protests, about these commercials at all, and does he have any response?
MR. DUFFY: No. I don't have any -- there are people along the side of the road wherever the President goes, supporters and others. So the President is certainly aware. But, again, he believes that Americans, obviously, have a right to express their views. That's part of being American. That's one of the things we're fighting for.