ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE - The White House says it is considering using the Wall Street rescue fund to prevent U.S. automakers from failing.

President Bush's press secretary says it would be "irresponsible" to further weaken the economy by letting the Detroit car companies fail. Dana Perino says the White House normally would prefer to let the financial markets determine the companies' fate.

But she says that given the economy's shape, the White House will consider other options, if necessary, to prevent the automakers' collapse - and that could mean using money from the $700 billion Wall Street rescue.

Perino says Bush and top aides talked today about the urgency of the situation. A potential $14 billion to aid the companies collapsed in the Senate last night.

Perino made the remarks as Bush flew to Texas for a commencement speech.