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White House: Meeting 'very constructive'

From NBC's John Yang
In her daily briefing, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said that "history will be the judge" of whether Thursday's meeting was a good idea. She said that, from her perspective, it was helpful to get everyone in one place to see where each of them stood and what remained to be done. She said the meeting was "very constructive for the large majority of it."

Asked about the McCain campaign's contention that all of Obama's statements were political posturing, Perino responded, "Everybody there was constructive and focused on finding a solution." She declined to detail McCain's comments and participation in the meeting.

The administration still backs the central core of the Paulson proposal -- that the federal government assume the risks of "illiquid" assets. Perino said that she did not think that anyone involved believes that the mortgage-backed security insurance alternative proposed by House Republicans would "take over the whole package."

Perino also told reporters today that Bush is primarily communicating with congressional Republicans through House Republican Leader John Boehner and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson remains the administration's point man in dealing with the Hill. National Economic Council director Keith Hennessey and Legislative Affairs Director Dan Meyer are also on the Hill. Information for the President is being channeled through White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and Deputy Chief of Staff Joel Kaplan.