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New White House press secretary alludes to 'competing network' when answering reporter's question

Published: Wednesday May 17, 2006

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At the White House press briefing today, White House press secretary and former Fox News radio host Tony Snow suggested he was still a member of the Fox News team -- describing a senator's interview with ABC's "This Week" as being on a "competing network."

The story was caught by John Amato at Crooks and Liars.

Here's the exchange.

The questioner begins: "...There's been a more vociferous outcry on issues that are well-known to the President in terms of what conservatives oppose about this immigration idea. So what specifically is he prepared to do to bring them around, other than to lead on the issue?

After Snow answers, the questioner asks about Karl Rove's meeting with House Republicans, "What you're describing and the notion that this was a hopeful and positive meeting --

MR. SNOW: Well, it's not my notion, it's what Karl said.

Q Okay. But, I mean, maybe it was a terrific meeting. As far as I can tell, that has not stopped Republicans, particularly in the House, from going gangbusters against this President before they've had a chance to read everything, as you say they should do.

MR. SNOW: Well, as I pointed out -- I mentioned this yesterday, and for -- let me see if I can find my quote, because I pulled it out. Chuck Hagel, as you may recall, made a fair amount of news over the weekend when he first said that -- let's see -- "Well, I want to listen to the details and I want to listen to the President," said Senator Hagel -- he said this on "This Week" on a competing network. But I would say this: I think we have to be very careful here. That's not the role of our military, that's not the role of our National Guard." That's what Senator Hagel said on Sunday.

After the President's address, here's what Senator Hagel said, after having a chance to read and review it: "I support everything the President said tonight." It's a change. I think a lot of times when people have an opportunity to look at these things -- there are going to be some people, David, who are just going to disagree with the President completely and totally on this. That's how democracy works. We don't have a problem with that. But I think also, a number of people who have expressed skepticism, I think, once they took a fuller look at all this are going to say, okay, this addresses our concerns.

Snow then calls on Helen Thomas.


Q Is there any change in the status of Karl Rove contemplated in the near future -- status in the White House?

MR. SNOW: Not that I know of, Helen, no.