President Bush told GOP leaders he won't accept the kid's health bill if it includes a tobacco tax hike, officials said.
The president also suggested he would not be willing to sign other types of tax increases that Democrats have attached to major legislation, including an energy bill, according to numerous officials who attended a closed-door meeting at the White House.
Bush's remarks represented a hardening of the administration's public position in a running veto showdown over Democratic-led attempts to enact legislation that provides coverage for 6 million children who now lack it. The officials who disclosed his comments did so on condition of anonymity, saying they were made in a closed-door meeting.
The White House had no response Tuesday night to the report of the president's comments.