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Cantor: Obama administration ‘beats back into submission’ those who dissent

“The White House has to understand that some of this is coming from their ranks,” Feinstein said during an address at the World Affairs Council on Monday.

Feinstein walked back her comments on Tuesday, saying she regretted her remarks “are being used to impugn President Obama or his commitment to protecting national-security secrets,” and adding that she knows “for a fact the president is extremely troubled by these leaks.”

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“Sen. Feinstein has always been a very upstanding individual who has led on many issues in her state of California and in the intelligence arena,” Cantor continued. “I think she reacted initially in the way that her abilities and capabilities saw — she saw indications of some politicization of information and things the White House knew for political gain.”

The Romney campaign suggested Feinstein was being pressured to correct her comments. A campaign spokesman said Obama had given her “the Cory Booker treatment,” a reference to the Newark, N.J., mayor taking back his statements when he called Democratic attacks on Romney’s former firm Bain Capital “nauseating.”

Both campaigns have struggled at times to keep lawmakers and surrogates within their own parties on message. Earlier this month, Romney campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom broke with congressional Republicans by arguing that the individual mandate upheld by the Supreme Court was a penalty, not a tax.