White House defends takeover of AIG

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House is not using President Bush's standard line about the economy: that its "fundamentals are strong."

Spokeswoman Dana Perino says the current situation is "not clear-cut" because of the many positive and negative economic indicators that sometimes come on the same day.

While refusing to repeat the "fundamentals are strong" line, she does say the country is "in a position of strength to be able to deal with" the current crisis. But she concedes, "it will take us a while."

Perino defended the federal takeover of insurance giant AIG, saying it's aimed at protecting the economy and people from further harm. She said the administration would consider help for other threatened companies on a "case-by-case basis."

Among those who have been pleading for Washington's help is the struggling auto industry, which has suffered massive losses but remains a backbone of the economy. A bill before Congress would give the companies 25 billion dollars in federal loans.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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