Politics of National Security: Flight 253 Terror Plot Increases Partisan Bickering

Some Republicans are pointing the finger at Sen. Chris Dodd amid reports that the Connecticut senator offered an amendment to reduce TSA funding for "aviation security" by $4.5 million for grants for firefighters, but at the time of the proposal, there was no objection by Republicans.

Sen. Dodd proposed providing $10 million to fund firefighters' equipment, an amendment in the Homeland Security appropriations bill that was passed with unanimous consent and no objection from Republicans at the time.

Partisanship Increases After Terror Plot

The partisan bickering has even spilled into local politics. Rep. Peter Hoekstra, the Michigan Republican planning a gubernatorial campaign, sent out a fundraising solicitation discussing Northwest Airlines Flight 253 and bashing the Obama administration's handling of the issue.

"Unfortunately, as the Democrat party drifts further and further to the left, their leaders are making decisions that should frighten us all. Since President Obama took office, he and his left-wing cronies have taken steps to undermine the work of our brave men and women who work tirelessly to keep us safe," the e-mail states. "Barack Obama's policies may impress the 'Blame America First' crowd at home and his thousands of fans overseas, but they sure don't do anything to protect our families in Michigan or the rest of America. ... I will be a governor who fights, every day, to keep Michigan safe."

One of Hoekstra's GOP rivals for the gubernatorial nomination, businessman Rick Snyder, took issue with the e-mail and complained that the congressman's decision to use Flight 253 as an opportunity to raise money for his political campaign represents Hoekstra's "Washington style of politics," which Snyder says is not needed in Lansing [the state capital].

"It is extremely disappointing that the Congressman would use a potentially tragic incident to raise money for his political campaign. In these troubling times, words can't describe how sad it is to see an attempt to politically capitalize on a failed terrorist attack just three days after it happened," Snyder's communications director Jake Suski said in a statement. "Unfortunately, Congressman Hoekstra's Washington style of politics as usual isn't the answer to our lack of leadership in Lansing."

Democrats also panned Hoekstra's move.

"I think this is the same gentleman, people need to know, that had a press conference and said we found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq," Democratic Strategic James Carville said on "GMA" today. "I think this man has some sort of intellectual challenges."

The Democratic National Committee used Hoekstra's fundraising solicitation to paint the GOP as being interested in playing "politics" with national security.

"It was shameful that Republicans like Mr. Hoekstra would attempt to play politics with our national security at all, but raising money off it is beyond the pale," DNC National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan said in a statement. "Republicans are playing politics with issues of national security and terrorism, and that they would use this incident as an opportunity to fan partisan flames and raise money for political campaigns tells you all you need to know about how far the Republican party has fallen and how out of step with the American people they have become."

ABC News' Teddy Davis contributed to this report.

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