The Bush administration kept up the attack Wednesday on the leader of the US House of Representatives over her trip to Syria. A White House spokesman said Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip is counterproductive, and Vice President Dick Cheney said she is rewarding bad behavior.
Cheney said in a radio interview that Syrian President Bashar Assad has been isolated and cut off internationally because of his government's behavior.
"The unfortunate thing about the speaker's visit is it sort of breaks down that barrier," Cheney said on ABC News Radio. "In other words, his bad behavior is being rewarded, in a sense."
Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for President George W. Bush's National Security Council, noted to reporters Pelosi's comment that she had come to Syria "determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace."
"Unfortunately," said Johndroe, speaking on Air Force One as the president traveled to the state of California, "that road is lined with the victims of Hamas and Hezbollah, the victims of terrorists who cross from Syria into Iraq. It's lined with the victims in Lebanon who are trying to fight for democracy there. It's lined with human rights activists trying for freedom and democracy in Syria. So as we said yesterday, we don't think these meetings are productive."