(2nd Add: Includes comments from former Clinton White House Special Counsel Lanny Davis.)
(CNSNews.com) - "I've asked Tony Snow to serve as my new press secretary," President Bush announced on Wednesday. "Tony already knows most of you - and he's agreed to take the job anyway," President Bush joked.
The president said he's sure that Snow - a Fox News host - will help explain Bush's decisions to reporters, who are supposed to explain them to the American people.
"He's not afraid to express his opinions," Bush said, noting that Snow has sometimes disagreed with him. Bush said he likes the perspective that Snow will bring to the job. Snow said he believes in the president - and he also looks forward to working with the White House press corps.
"The President's very lucky to have a man of Tony Snow's caliber take this job on. I think he's going to do an excellent job at maybe one of the toughest press jobs in America. I am sure that he's up to it based on his experience," said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Fox News Channel's "Fox News Live."
"I think [Tony Snow is] a great choice. I like Tony a lot. The best thing that Tony's going to do is bring the pulse of the American people into the White House in those deliberations..." said Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) on "Fox News Live."
"Great choice by the President. And I think it will be good for the American people, too, to have one of their advocates clearly in the White House who is on the pulse of the people in the real world," Allen said.
"[H]e is a man of integrity and he's a man of fairness and he's a man of substance and I emphasize substance because it's my perception that Tony will have a policy role in discussing facts with the President rather than simply being a conduit. ... I think he will have a great deal of credibility on behalf of President Bush," said former Clinton White House Special Counsel Lanny Davis on "Fox News Live."
'Get ready for another Snow job from the Bush White House'
Democrats were not pleased with Bush's selection, saying Snow "represents more of the same, not the fresh start the Administration needed."
The Democratic National Committee warned Americans to "get ready for another Snow job from the Bush White House."
"This is an interdepartmental move from one part of the conservative infrastructure to another that allows a darling of the right-wing to deliver the same misleading message, cherry-picked information and spin to the American people," said Karen Finney, DNC communications director.
"Josh Bolten's plan for re-energizing the White House called for more happy talk and a better PR campaign for the same failed policies. Snow's track record of delivering misleading rhetoric is a perfect fit for this Administration that refuses to change and has a problem telling the truth," Finney added.
David Brock, president and CEO of Media Matters for America, called Bush's selection of Snow "a match made in heaven," but not in a good way.
"Snow and his colleagues at Fox News have been among the most effective spokespeople for the Bush administration," said Brock. "But given Snow's long history of making false and misleading claims, his hiring will do little to change the perception that the White House is more interested in stonewalling and deception than in getting the facts out.
"As we continue to witness the same pattern of misinformation and lack of transparency by the Bush administration, we urge the White House press corps to demand real answers from the new press secretary. The media have already given President Bush a free pass on too much," concluded Brock.
(Cybercast News Service Senior Editor Susan Jones contributed to this story.)
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