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DeLaying The Message?

During our discussion about Congress's difficulty of in drawing up a budget to run the government on Face the Nation, we never got the Republican side and we owe you an explanation.

On Thursday, Congressman Tom DeLay, the House Republican Whip, agreed to be on our broadcast along with Senator Tom Daschle, D-S.D., the Minority Leader.

But late Saturday afternoon, DeLay sent word he would appear only if he could be interviewed after Sen. Daschle.

Since the Republicans are responsible for writing the budget that Congress will eventually vote on, we thought it logical to interview Rep. DeLay first.

When his staff said that was unacceptable, we offered a compromise. We would interview Mr. DeLay first, then Sen. Daschle, and then bring Mr. DeLay back to respond to whatever Sen. Daschle said.

This too, proved unacceptable, so we decided to let Mr. DeLay take care of his business elsewhere.

This is small stuff to be sure. But ironically it comes as more and more rank-and-file Republicans tell me their problem is their leaders just can't seem to find a way to get the party message out.

I have no interest in getting in the middle of that. But they may be on to something.

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