Snow apologizes for stem cell ‘murder’ crack

Tony Snow, President George W. Bush’s chief spokesman, apologized on Monday for saying Bush believed embryonic stem cell research amounted to "murder," saying he had overstated the president’s position.

Snow, a former radio talk show host who took over as press secretary in May, created a bit of a stir in defending Bush’s veto last Wednesday of legislation that would have expanded embryonic stem cell research.

"The president believes strongly that for the purpose of research it’s inappropriate for the federal government to finance something that many people consider murder. He’s one of them," Snow had said.

Asked about that comment on Monday, Snow told reporters: "I overstepped my brief there" and said he was sorry the remark became a subject for White House chief of staff Josh Bolten in an appearance on NBC’s "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

"I feel bad about it," Snow said.

Bush himself said, in casting the veto, the legislation "crosses a moral boundary."

Asked if Bush considered it murder, Snow said: "He would not use that term."