The Democratic National Committee is calling a leading Republican lawmaker "shameful" for raising money off the botched terrorist attack on Christmas Day.
Hours after Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee and a Michigan gubernatorial candidate, sent out an email solicitation bashing "weak-kneed liberals" for their response to an attempted attack on a Detroit-bound airliner, the DNC went to work.
"It was shameful that Republicans like Mr. Hoekstra would attempt to play politics with our national security at all, but raising money off it is beyond the pale," read a statement from the committee's Press Secretary Hari Sevugan. "Republicans are playing politics with issues of national security and terrorism, and that they would use this incident as an opportunity to fan partisan flames and raise money for political campaigns tells you all you need to know about how far the Republican party has fallen and how out of step with the American people they have become. The American people simply will not tolerate the likes of Mr. Hoekstra and the Republican Party playing politics with the serious issues of national security and terrorism - especially after the mess they left this country in both domestically and on national security after eight years of failed leadership."
The statement, which was blasted out to reporters on Tuesday afternoon, is the most forceful pushback to date against GOP attacks on Obama's handling of the incident. It might be the only critical reaction -- with nearly all lawmakers at home in their districts, there has been a dearth of Democratic voices available to come to the White House's defense. Rep. Jane Harman (D-Cali.) who chairs the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence, praised the president for taking an even-tempered response to the situation. But she did not touch on some of the posturing by the GOP in the wake of the terror attempt.
"Another kind of piece of this, I think, is to not overreact," she told a local California paper. "We could use a sledgehammer to fix this problem and make it worse. We want a scalpel, not a sledgehammer."