In the wake of the attempted bombing of a plane bound for Detroit, Rep. Peter King (NY-R) criticized Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for appearing “bored.”
“What I was critical of here was that first of all we went almost 48 hours before anyone from the administration came out and even spoke about what happened,” explained King Monday.
“Finally, Janet Napolitano comes out and the first thing she said was everything worked well. And she seemed almost like she was bored to be there. There was no intensity. There was no show of emotion,” he said.
King was not the only Republican to attack Napolitano’s tone. Former George W. Bush spokesperson Dana Perino told Fox News Monday that Napolitano “missed the mark” with her tone and needs to “turn up the urgency just a tad.”
Napolitano has been under fire for telling CNN’s Candy Crowley Sunday that “the system worked.” The Homeland Security secretary said Monday that her remarks were taken out of context. She explained that she was referring to law enforcement’s response to the failed attack.
“Our system did not work in this instance,” Napolitano told NBC’s Matt Lauer. “No one is happy or satisfied with that.”
On Saturday, The Atlantic‘s Marc Ambinder defended President Obama’s so-far silence on the actions of a “two-bit mook,” arguing “a message expressing command, control, outrage and anger might elevate the importance of the deed, would generate panic (because Obama usually DOESN’T talk about the specifics of cases like this, and so him deciding to do so would cue the American people to respond in a way that exacerbates the situation).”
However, on Sunday, Ambinder tore into the beleaguered Napolitano, before her amended statements on Monday.
“The system worked,” said the Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano. Did those words really escape the barriers of her teeth? Was this a talking point? Certainly, the passengers worked… certainly, the crotch-rocket didn’t work… certainly, the system went into high gear after the failure of the system…. maybe parts of the system worked, if by working, one means that inputs begat outputs and an airplane of passengers wasn’t blasted out of the sky. If she had said, “the system worked, but it’s proven inadequate,” then there’d be less heat. But…
The Hill‘s Tony Romm notes that the former Democratic governor for Arizona made “a round of media appearances on Monday morning” in order to “clarify” her initial remarks, after they “were met with instant criticism.”
This video is from MSNBC’s Morning Joe, broadcast Dec. 28, 2009.