Has President Barack Obama been softer on security than his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush? Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani makes the answer sound simple.
“We had no domestic attacks under Bush. We’ve had one under Obama,” he told ABC’s Good Morning America.
Giuliani’s remark glosses over important details, including reports that Guantanamo detainees released by Bush renewed ties with al Qaeda in Yemen where U.S. officials believe the Christmas Day bomb plot was hatched.
But his comment does illustrate the political criticism Obama faces as Republicans try to use the incident to make Democrats look soft on security in this year’s congressional election campaign.
Have Republican claims affected Democrats? Some pundits suggest Obama may have been responding to criticism about his avoidance of the term “war on terrorism” on Thursday when he declared: “We are at war.” Others say they detected a Bush-like ring to the Obama rhetoric.
Meanwhile, the administration does not appear to have worked out all the kinks in its public response to the incident.