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January 25, 1984
Met with joint leadership of Cong. to brief them on Lebanon & Central Am. George S. did that then as discussion opened Tip sounded off in a very partisan manner. So much so that Sen. Bob Byrd tried to moderate things. He’s off & away—Tip that is on, “bring the Marines home.” I almost let go the controls but I didn’t. There is no doubt the Demos. are going to ride this thru the campaign. I later called Tip, Bob & our 2 Sen.—Baker & Bob Michel & propositioned them about naming some reps. to meet with on people about a bi partisan approach to the deficits. Tip ranted on that all we had to do was tax the rich more & cut the fat out of the mil. budget. He knows that is crap but it again is a tip on what their campaign will be. Dropped in for a minute on the T.V. anchor men & women who were being briefed on tonites St. of The Union address. I cannot conjure up 1 iota of respect for just about all of them. Met with Cap on our strategy for negotiating on the Defense part of the budget. He & his gang have already reduced their budget themselves from $322 bil. down to $305 bil. We know we will have to fight the Demos. they wont recognize the cut he has already made & will start with 305 as the figure that must be reduced. We’ve mentally set 296 or so as the lowest we can go without doing real damage. The Demos. are talking around 287. The “St of the U.” went very well—in fact some of the Congress said it was an all time best. They interrupted 42 times with applause. Calls right after were running better than 10 to 1.