President Bush deleted a line of his address in deference to Democrats
WASHINGTON (CNN) - One sentence in President Bush's weekly radio address was deleted overnight after some Democrats privately complained that it was overly partisan on the explosive subject of reforming the administration's warrantless wiretap program, White House officials confirmed Saturday.
In the initial radio address, which was taped Friday, Bush charged that the country is less safe because of Democratic delays in passing legislation that would reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
"Every day that Congress puts off these reforms increases the danger to our nation," the president originally said.
White House officials say that line of audio was deleted after Democrats saw a transcript of the remarks distributed Friday afternoon.
The extremely rare change to a taped address comes at the end of a week in which the White House faced a blizzard of questions about whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales committed perjury in testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the surveillance program.
White House officials have vehemently denied that Gonzales gave misleading testimony, and say Bush still wants his Attorney General to stay on the job.
A senior White House official suggested Saturday that the administration wanted to turn the temperature down on all the controversy and get reform legislation passed.
"We've been making good progress with the Democrats on this legislation," a senior White House official told CNN.
"Some of them felt the sentence sounded too political. Our sole objective has been to get the law changed - not to seek partisan advantage. So we were happy to make the requested change, particularly in light of Democrats' expressed determination to make necessary changes in law."
–CNN White House Correspondent Ed Henry