The White House sought Tuesday to play down prospects for an imminent bailout for distressed U.S. automakers and suggested any deal requiring taxpayer money will require major concessions by the parties involved.

"We are not going to be rushed into it," presidential press secretary Dana Perino declared.

Only a day earlier, President George W. Bush suggested that a bailout package would come sooner rather than later. "An abrupt bankruptcy for autos could be devastating for the economy," Bush said on Monday. "This will not be a long process because of the economic fragility of the autos."

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