A spokeswoman for President Bush says the Democrats will have to hash out their own rule disputes without help from the commander in chief.

The comments came from spokeswoman Dana Perino on a question from Les Kinsolving, WND correspondent at the White House, regarding the controversy over the early votes by Democrats in Michigan and Florida, and how those votes will be reconciled with national party rules.

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., had been lobbying for those votes to count fully, after the numbers favored her campaign. Her campaign officials confirmed, in the following video report, they were reserving the right to continue their battle for those votes:

The party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee decided over the weekend that the states’ delegations would be granted one-half of their ordinary vote weight at this summer’s national convention in Denver.

“The Washington Post quoted Florida’s Sen. Nelson as saying of Saturday’s National Democrat Rules and Bylaws Committee Meeting, ‘One million seven hundred thousand voters turned out to the January 29th primary in Florida, who violated no rule. They did not move the election date forward – the Republican legislature did.’ And my question: Does the president believe Sen. Nelson is in any kind of error in making this statement and in asking that Florida delegates be given a full vote?” Kinsolving asked.

“I’m not really well versed in the state politics of Florida, so I’ll have to send you back to Florida to hash that out. It’s not what – that’s not how I understand how it happened down there,” Perino said.

In a followup, Kinsolving asked: “The Washington Post also reported of this Rules and Bylaws Committee, ‘They decided to give Florida and Michigan half their voting rights – one of the more arbitrary compromises since the 1787 decision that a slave should count as three-quarters of a person.’ And my question: Surely the president, as our chief executive, believes that no Florida or Michigan citizen of either party deserved to be treated as a half-citizen, doesn’t he?”

“He’ll leave it to the Democrats to sort that out. That’s their decision,” Perino said.

“Isn’t he concerned about this?” Kinsolving asked.

“I didn’t talk to him,” Perino said.

“I mean, he believes in fairness, doesn’t he, Dana?”

‘”I didn’t talk to him about it. This is the Democrats’ party and this is their – they’re going to have to hash it out for themselves,” she said.

A commentary in the Flint, Mich., newspaper expressed satisfaction that the delegations would be given some recognition.

“To be sure, I’m still annoyed at the Democratic Party. Why, I wonder, didn’t the DNC limit its punishment to state party officials instead of invalidating the votes of an entire state? They’re the ones who wanted the change. Make them run laps around the state capitol, if you must. … But why punish voters? What’d we do?” wrote Andrew Heller.

“The truth is, this still only matters to Mrs. Clinton (I worry about the maintenance guys who will have to sand out the fingernail marks she’ll leave as she’s dragged off-stage), to the media, which has a vested interest in prolonging tiffs, and to the worry-warts who think disenfranchised voters may punish as they were punished and vote for John McCain in November,” he wrote.


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