Clinton Called ‘Tasteless’ by Rival

Aug 24, 2007 6:46pm

d ABC News’ Donna Hunter, Sarah Amos and Raelyn Johnson report: Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., has drawn criticism from two of her Democratic presidential rivals for comments she made this week about the potential political fallout of a future terrorist attack in the United States.

"Frankly, I find it tasteless to discuss political implications when talking about a potential terrorist attack on the United States," said Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., in a statement released by his campaign.

Dodd’s criticism of what he called Clinton’s "politicization" of the terror threat was followed by a statement from another Democratic rival, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.

"We shouldn’t be thinking about terrorism in terms of its domestic political consequences, we should be protecting the country from terrorists," said Richardson.

Former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., also criticized the former first lady.

"If we’re talking about America being attacked the last thing we should do is be engaged in political calculation," said Edwards.

Clinton provoked Edwards, Richardson and Dodd to criticize her by telling the Associated Press, "It’s a horrible prospect to ask yourself ‘What if? What if?’ But if certain things happen between now and the election, particularly with respect to terrorism, that will automatically give the Republicans an advantage again, no matter how badly they have mishandled it, no matter how much more dangerous they have made the world. So I think I’m the best of the Democrats to deal with that as well."

Beyond criticizing Clinton’s comments about a future attack, Richardson also rapped Clinton for saying that the United States is safer since 9/11.

"Sen. Clinton seems to think that President Bush has made this country safer," said Richardson. "I disagree with her."

Earlier this year, Clinton said that she thought the United States was safer since 9/11, while adding that the United States is still not safe enough.

Richardson appears Saturday morning on ABC News’ "Good Morning America."

UPDATE (10:35 PM): Response from Clinton campaign spokesperson Blake Zeff: "Senator Clinton was making clear that she has the strength and experience to keep the country safe."

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