Presidential press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters today President Bush “meant exactly what he said” when he alluded to Jesus during his remarks at the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony only to end that part of his speech with a reference to Santa Claus.

National Christmas Tree lighting at White House (White House photo by Paul Morse)

As WorldNetDaily reported, flanked by the first lady, as well as members of Congress and the Cabinet, Bush told the public at the event: “The lighting of the National Christmas tree is one of the great traditions in our nation’s capital. Each year, we gather here to celebrate the season of hope and joy – and to remember the story of one humble life that lifted the sights of humanity. Santa, thanks for coming. Glad you made it.”

The remark received a few chuckles from those in attendance, as Bush continued to speak to a Santa Claus figure, stating, “I know you’ve got a lot of commitments this time of year. By the way, we have a lot of chimneys at the White House if you’re looking for something to do.”

At today’s White House press briefing, WND asked McClellan if the president would apologize to Christians offended by his referring to Jesus as Santa.

Suggesting the administration failed to see a problem with the remark, McClellan responded, “The president meant exactly what he said.”

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