Countdown to Crawford notes that White House spokesman Tony Fratto took issue today with journalists using the term “bailout” to describe the $700 billion package. “It’s really unfortunate shorthand for a very complicated issue,” he said. The White House prefers the word “rescue.” For insight into why the White House is playing semantic word games, consider what Fred Barnes said last week on Fox News:
We would be in a better situation, or at least the Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson would if this were known as a “rescue” rather than a “bailout.” “Bailout” sounds terrible. Who is for a bailout? A lot of people are for a rescue.
UPDATE: This morning, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) made a similar a comment:
Well I think what happened is we didn’t convince enough Republicans and Democrats…that this was a rescue package and not a bailout.
UPDATE II: Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) today: “When you call it a bailout, nobody’s in favor of a bailout.”