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Usually Ducking and Spinning, Perino Takes Up Referring

Could it be fatigue, stonewalling or just symptom of a lame-duck administration that White House press secretary Dana Perino — usually well versed in the fine craft of artful spin — has taken instead to a habit of deflecting questions to other administration offices?

Asked at a press conference Tuesday why the U.S. chose to give just $3 million in assistance to Burma, Perino said, "I think I would have to refer you to the USAID…"

Asked how Cheney chief of staff David Addington will respond to the congressional subpoena approved in the House today, Perino said, "I’m going to refer you to the office of the vice president."

Asked about reports that VA officials have withheld the number of attempted suicides among Iraq war vets, Perino responded, "I would refer you to Department of Veterans Affairs for more on the statistics."

Asked about a Peace Corps volunteer fired for being HIV-positive, Perino said, "The Peace Corps would have more information for you."

Judging from today’s briefing, you’d almost think the White House doesn’t control these people anymore.

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