The White House responded sharply to criticism from Dick Cheney over the administration's response to a botched terror attack. In a blog post, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said Obama "is not interested in bellicose rhetoric" and called Cheney's jabs "strangely off-key" when national security is at stake.
Republicans saw the failure to prevent the attempt to blow up a plane on Christmas Day as a political opportunity, a chance to make the president look weak.
"[W]e are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren't, it makes us less safe," Cheney said in a statement to Politico. "Why doesn't he want to admit we're at war? It doesn't fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn't fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency -- social transformation -- the restructuring of American society."
Now, after avoiding the partisan scuffle in favor of addressing the intelligence failures, the White House is responding.
To put it simply: this President is not interested in bellicose rhetoric, he is focused on action. Seven years of bellicose rhetoric failed to reduce the threat from al Qaeda and succeeded in dividing this country. And it seems strangely off-key now, at a time when our country is under attack, for the architect of those policies to be attacking the President.
Democrats in Congress, meanwhile, have been blaming Bush for releasing from Guantanamo in 2007 two detainees who apparently helped lead the al Qaeda cell in Yemen linked to the bombing attempt.
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