At today’s White House press briefing, presidential press secretary Scott McClellan said President Bush “strongly supports” Vice President Cheney in his recent comments suggesting Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., is “losing it.”

WND asked McClellan about Cheney’s remark to two talk-radio hosts, which he made while talking about Rangel having compared Bush to Bull Connor, the Alabama police commissioner whose resistance to civil rights made his name synonymous with Southern racism in the ’60s.

Cheney commented that Rangel “was so out of line, it almost struck me that Charlie was having some problem. Charlie is losing it, I guess.”

McClellan responded to the question about Rangel, saying, “The president strongly supports the vice president. The vice president strongly supports the president. I don’t know that I could add anything to what he’s already said.”

WND also asked McClellan about Bush’s comments this week about terrorism, during which he said: “The United States makes no distinction between those who commit acts of terror and those who support and harbor them, because they’re equally guilty of murder.”

Asked WND: “Since the Palestinian Authority surely harbors Hamas, which I’ve heard you say the president recognizes as a terrorist organization, what about the $1.6 billion U.S. that have been given to the Palestinian Authority?”

Responded McClellan: “Hamas is a terrorist organization. And we made it clear that Hamas needs to be disbanded. That is a responsibility of the Palestinian Authority under the road map.

“I think you have to look at the progress that has been made. Prime Minister Sharon put forward a bold proposal and moved forward on it. He acted on it. He withdrew from Gaza. That presents a real opportunity for the Palestinian leadership to step up and help build a democratic state. That means establishing law and order and good governance.

“Now, remember, their previous leader left them in a very bad situation, to say the least, with the corruption and the multiple security forces that were in place. That’s why we had General Ward in the region working with Palestinian security forces to establish – help establish that law and order in Gaza and help lay the groundwork for a democratic state to emerge. Because that’s what we’re working toward; that’s what the president is committed to.”

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