Bush: Some suggest 'that the terrorist threat is being used for partisan political advantage'

Published: Saturday August 12, 2006

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In his weekly radio address on Saturday, President Bush said that America was safer than it was before 9/11, and denied that the "terrorist threat was being used for partisan political advantage."

"Because of the measures we've taken to protect the American people, our Nation is safer than it was prior to September the 11th," said Bush. "Still, we must never make the mistake of thinking the danger of terrorism has passed."

"This week's experience reminds us of a hard fact: The terrorists have to succeed only once to achieve their goal of mass murder, while we have to succeed every time to stop them," Bush said.

"Unfortunately, some have suggested recently that the terrorist threat is being used for partisan political advantage," Bush added. "We can have legitimate disagreements about the best way to fight the terrorists, yet there should be no disagreement about the dangers we face."

Democrats had complained about recent statements made by Vice President Dick Cheney and a fund-raising letter for the Republican National Committee.

"Democrats assailed the Republicans Friday for e-mailing a fundraising appeal mentioning the war on terror hours after British authorities disclosed they had disrupted a plot to blow up aircraft headed to the United States," reported the Associated Press. "The RNC blamed a low-level staffer for distributing the fundraising appeal, which the party said had been scheduled for release before news of the plot broke."

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid released a statement on Friday condemning Cheney for saying that Sen. Joe Lieberman's loss in Connecticut's Democratic primary could embolden "the al Qaeda types."

"Once again, GOP (Republican) leaders are using terrorism and our national security as a political wedge issue," Reid wrote. "It is disgusting -- but not surprising."

"Even more disgraceful is that when Cheney made those comments, he had been briefed on the Britain terror plot," Reid continued. "There are simply no boundaries for these people."

The White House countered that Cheney was unaware of any imminent arrests when he spoke about Lieberman's loss.

"White House spokesman Tony Snow said Cheney had been briefed last weekend on the British threat but did not know the arrests were imminent when he spoke and that he was simply reacting to the outcome of the Connecticut primary," reported Reuters.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released a statement on Saturday which also accused the vice president and other Republicans of "politicizing" the war on terror.

"Mr. Cheney's inflammatory comments about Democrats and the war on terror are beneath the dignity of the office of the Vice President and are a disservice to the safety of American people," wrote Pelosi.

"Our first responsibility as elected officials is the security of the American people," Pelosi continued. "Partisan politicking during this critical time undermines this obligation and Republican scare tactics fail to make America safer."