GOP strategically puts national security back in limelight
Wall Street JournalTheir efforts include using a White House Web site posting personally rebuking Mr. Cheney for "seven years of bellicose rhetoric" and arguing that al Qaeda during Mr. Bush's tenure "regenerated" to establish "new safe havens" in Yemen and Somalia. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the man accused in the botched effort to down Northwest Flight 253, allegedly trained in Yemen.
The GOP has seized on the attempted bombing on Christmas day of a NorthWest Delta flight by a Nigerian national to put national security back at the center of issues.
National security is likely to be central in the midterm elections and in the 2012 Obama re-election campaign, political analysts from both parties have asserted.
President Obama however is not taking a soft stance towards what he views (rightly) as mounting rhetoric based on hypocrisy by figures such as former Vice President Dick Cheney.
WASHINGTON -- Political furor over the attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253 has thrust national security back to the center of American politics, with Republicans and the White House scrambling to blame each other for intelligence lapses and present themselves to voters as tougher on terrorism.
Strategists in both parties believe that terrorism and, more broadly, foreign policy could emerge in the November midterm elections and in President Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign as key issues for voters who have been focused primarily on the economy.
GOP opinion leaders such as former Vice President Dick Cheney have seized on the attack to question President Barack Obama's grasp of foreign affairs. Republican Party officials have sent fund-raising appeals that take aim at Mr. Obama's response to the episode.
Republican strategists said in interviews that they saw an opportunity to regain the traditional advantages on security issues that failed them in the past two national campaigns, as the economic downturn and public opposition to President George W. Bush's policies in Iraq took primacy in voters' minds.
The White House and its allies, meanwhile, have responded by mounting a campaign to assert Mr. Obama's bona fides as a strong commander in chief while blaming Bush policies in Iraq for emboldening al Qaeda to plan attacks such as the one Christmas Day in the skies over Detroit.
Their efforts include using a White House Web site posting personally rebuking Mr. Cheney for "seven years of bellicose rhetoric" and arguing that al Qaeda during Mr. Bush's tenure "regenerated" to establish "new safe havens" in Yemen and Somalia. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the man accused in the botched effort to down Northwest Flight 253, allegedly trained in Yemen.
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