White House Walking Tightrope Over Egypt

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WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is walking a very fine line about Egypt. On one hand they strongly support the rights of the protesters. On the other, the last thing they want is for Egypt to descend into chaos.

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Chief White House Correspondent Chip Reid reports that the basic policy of the Obama administration right now is:

First, the administration is calling for "an orderly transition to a government that respects the rights of the Egyptian people."

Second, they are not calling on President Mubarak to step down.

And third, the White House is calling for free and fair elections in Egypt this fall, elections in which Mubarak may or may not be on the ballot.

It may seem odd that the White House is calling for a transition to a new kind of government but at the same time saying Mubarak may be able to stay around. The White House is being very adamant about this. They're saying they're not going to take sides. It's up to the people of Egypt to decide who their leader should be.

  • Chip Reid

    Chip Reid is CBS News' national correspondent.