Eight years ago, a terrorist bomber’s attempt to blow up a trans-Atlantic airliner was thwarted by passengers and revealed gaping holes in airline security only months after the Sept. 11 attacks.
But President George W. Bush, then on vacation, made no public remarks for six days about the so-called shoe bomber, Richard Reid, and there were virtually no complaints from the media or Democrats that Bush’s response was sluggish or inadequate.
That stands in sharp contrast to the Republicans’ withering criticism of President Obama — and some in the media — for his reaction to the Christmas Day incident on a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines flight.
Obama commented publicly on Monday and ordered a full investigation of the incident.
Democrats are making the disparity a centerpiece of their efforts to counter GOP attacks on the White House. “This hypocrisy demonstrates Republicans are playing politics with issues of national security and terrorism,” Democratic National Committee (DNC) spokesman Hari Sevugan said. “That they would use this incident as an opportunity to fan partisan flames … 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.”