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White House Keeps Quiet On Huckabee's Remarks

(AP)
So far, President Bush has demurred when asked about the race for the Republican nomination, saying it's not his job to be "pundit in chief." And it turns out that principle applies even when one of the GOP hopefuls – in this case, Mike Huckabee – is criticizing Bush's foreign policy.

Huckabee, in a much-discussed article in the upcoming issue of Foreign Affairs magazine, accused the Bush administration of possessing an "arrogant bunker mentality" in dealing with the rest of the world that "has been counterproductive at home and abroad."

Those words would likely draw strong criticism had they been written by a Democrat. But White House press secretary Dana Perino declined to comment on Huckabee today, CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller reports. "We're gonna stay out of the primary politics and when there's a nominee – the president will vigorously support that nominee," Perino said. "I will refer you to the Republican National Committee which during the primary season can answer those questions. As much as I may want to, I'm not going to do it from the podium."

Perino's words conjure the interesting, and possibly awkward image, of Bush campaigning with the man who assailed his foreign policy. That assumes, of course, that Huckabee will want the unpopular president anywhere near him.