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Analysts respond to Bush news conference

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- CNN's political analysts offer their thoughts on key points in President Bush's news conference Wednesday:

On calling Israel's actions 'not helpful:'

Major Garrett, White House correspondent  

"New language, and new emphasis. It's been ratcheted up considerably in the last 72 hours. The administration at many different levels, in the State Department and here at the White House, publicly and privately, is sending very strong signals to the Israeli government that 'You are crossing a military line here. You have gone beyond defending yourself and responding to individual acts of terrorism against your civilians, and now are creating a destabilized environment.' ... The president is turning against Israel and saying, 'You've got to pull back if we want to have any hope at all of creating a security arrangement good for both sides."

On the Pickering nomination:

Candy Crowley, senior political correspondent  

"We heard the exact same complaints when Bill Clinton was in office and Republicans were in the position of holding up nominations. Are they doing it for ideological reasons? I think they would tell you, 'No, we're doing this for the reason that this man has a bad record on civil rights, there's this, there's that.' So it's always a question of where you're sitting."

On possible action against Saddam Hussein:

Bill Schneider, senior political analyst  

"A number of people asked the president, 'Will we deal with him unilaterally?' The president was very clear on this point. He said we're going to consult other countries; that's why the vice president is there now. But he made a very direct, straight answer when he said 'He's a problem and we're going to deal with him.' That's a pretty strong clue that we intend to do it on our own if necessary, but we're not going to do it without consulting."




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