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Cheney Accused of Politicizing Terrorism

The vice president suggested that Lamont's victory might encourage "the al-Qaida types" who want to "break the will of the American people in terms of our ability to stay in the fight and complete the task."

He portrayed the Democratic Party as preferring that the United States "retreat behind our oceans and not be actively engaged in this conflict and be safe here at home."

Snow said Cheney did not know when he made the call that British authorities were in the process of arresting the alleged plotters of the airplane bombing attacks. Snow said Cheney had been briefed on the plot, but the briefings did not indicate that action was imminent.

"The comments that were made after the Connecticut primary were in response to the Connecticut primary, and they were not in anticipation of a British action," said Snow, who also suggested Wednesday that the Lamont victory showed Democrats have the wrong position on the war on terror. "I can say that with absolute assurance not only with regard to me, but also the vice president."

Reid took issue with the vice president's comments, saying, "This situation isn't going well and anyone that suggests that the people of Connecticut are somehow supporting terrorists, I don't think that's credible and that's what Cheney suggested."

Democrats also criticized the RNC for e-mailing a fundraising appeal mentioning the war on terror hours after British authorities disclosed they had disrupted the plot.

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. The RNC said it stopped distributing the e-mail when it learned of the error.

Snow said it's unclear if Democrats and Republicans can come together and agree on the best policies to fight the war on terror.

"I don't know, in today's congressional climate whether we can do this," Snow said.

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Associated Press writer Nedra Pickler contributed to this report from Crawford, Texas.


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