Perino Bruised in Shoe-Hurling Melee

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino was slightly bruised in the aftermath of the shoe-throwing melee at President Bush's news conference at the Prime Minister's Palace in Baghdad on Sunday, a senior administration official said.

But Perino will be fine and is continuing with the presidential party, the official said. 

Perino was hit in the face with a microphone as security wrestled with the reporter, NBC News reported.

The White House transcript from the news conference labels the incident an "audience interruption."

President Bush said. "Okay, everybody calm down for a minute."

Then, indicating Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the president continued: "First of all, thank you for apologizing on behalf of the Iraqi people. It doesn't bother me. And if you want some — if you want the facts, it's a size 10 shoe that he threw. (Laughter.) Thank you for your concern, do not worry about it."

The president then brushed off a question from a reporter who was asking about the greater meaning of the fracas.

"So what if a guy threw a shoe at me?" Bush asked.

It's ironic that the president would be pummeled in such a controlled setting, when the White House took elaborate, James-Bond-like precautions to ensure he landed in secret.

Air Force One left the Washington area on Saturday night, and Bush and his aides are scheduled to return Monday. His presence in Iraq was not reported until Sunday morning Eastern time.

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