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Perino thanks White House media

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- White House Press Secretary Dana Perino wished her successor her best Friday and asked the White House media corps to cut him some slack.

President-elect Barack Obama's Press Secretary Robert Gibbs "doesn't need a lot of advice from me," Perino said during her last news briefing for President George Bush. "This is a fabulous job. It is a great opportunity to work with all of you."

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But she asked reporters to "please go easy on (Gibbs) for a week."

Bush's farewell address Thursday was his last public appearance until Inauguration Day Tuesday, Perino said. His last official act, she said, was his formal request for the final $350 billion of the $700 billion funds to rescue the U.S. financial markets.

"But he has been kept in the loop by the treasury secretary on actions that they needed to take last night in order to continue to help get us on a path back to recovery," she said.

One myth she said she wanted to dispel about Bush was his feelings about news media, explaining he appreciates the role of the media and noting he wished the White House reporters "nothing but the best" during his news conference Monday.

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"The reporters in this room stand head and shoulders above all others in the business," Perino said.

Perino said she learned a lot about "grace and dignity" while fielding questions.

"And I learned that from President Bush," she said. "And to follow his example, has, I believe, made me a better person."

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