Obama Backs Clinton's Criticism of GOP

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Sen. Barack Obama and other black Democrats are defending Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's description of the House of Representatives as a ''plantation.'' First lady Laura Bush says Clinton's remark was ''ridiculous.''

Clinton, D-N.Y., a potential presidential candidate for 2008, did not retreat from the ''plantation'' remark, telling reporters the term accurately describes the ''top-down'' way the GOP runs Congress.

First lady Laura Bush, en route home from a visit to West Africa, criticized Clinton.

''It think it's ridiculous -- it's a ridiculous comment,'' Mrs. Bush told reporters when asked about the senator's remark.

Clinton, who is seeking re-election this year, said during a Martin Luther King Day event in Harlem this week that the House ''has been run like a plantation,'' in that ''nobody with a contrary view has had a chance to present legislation, to make an argument, to be heard.''

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