Bill Frist

US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R) of Tennessee was Friday's guest. Here are excerpts from his remarks:

On whether there was a connection between Iraq and the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US:

"I haven't seen that evidence."

On whether the systems in place to defend the Capitol are adequate:

"It is not where it needs to be. The other day, we had an airplane that was 2 minutes 38 seconds out from hitting the Capitol.... Our response was pretty good."

On whether he is being groomed to run for president:

"It is not a goal of mine. I am a heart- and lung-transplant surgeon ... and that's my life. My intention is to serve in the ... Senate for 12 years and then return to Nashville."

On whether John Kerry should resign from the Senate:

"The decision is John Kerry's. [But] I don't think the people of Massachusetts are being adequately represented on the floor of the Senate with him missing [so many sessions]."

On whether President Bush's policy on stem-cell research should be relaxed to help Alzheimer's patients:

"As a physician, you don't want to give undue hope or over-promise therapy to patients.... It is a disservice, and I would say ethically irresponsible to overpromise on research. [With] Alzheimer's, that's what happening. If you listed 20 promising research efforts [for Alzheimer's], stem-cell wouldn't be there. Yet, in the mind of the American people, you would put it No. 1. That is overpromising."

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