During an interview with RNC chairman Michael Steele this morning on NBC’s Today Show, host Meredith Vieira noted that Republicans have been politicizing 23-year old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s failed attempt at blowing up a U.S. airliner. After pointing out that Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) has even been trying to raise money off the incident, she asked Steele if “it is fair game for the Republicans to say that Democrats are less concerned with Americans’ safety than Republicans are.”
“I don’t think it’s a question of saying…who is more concerned,” Steele said, before launching into a rather incoherent attack on President Obama’s “approach to foreign policy”:
STEELE: What it is is looking at the approach this administration has taken from its very first moments coming in talking about closing down Gitmo with no strategy or plan to do that and here we are a year later and Gitmo is still part of the mix. Now with this recent incident given everything in between, there is this image at least that’s been created, this presence of the presidency and so forth that is not consistent in their approach to foreign policy and there are a lot of questions out there.
Steele must have had a change of heart about Gitmo. He has previously criticized Obama for wanting to close the prison facility. “It’s astonishing that the day after we learned one in seven terrorists who have been freed returned to terrorism, President Obama gave a speech in which he is still promising to close down Gitmo,” Steele said last May.
And when the administration announced its intention to send Guantanamo detainees to a federal prison in Illinois (i.e the very “strategy or plan” Steele is demanding) to close the facility, Steele whined. “President Obama has left little doubt that he is more concerned with America’s world popularity than the will and the safety of the very people who elected him president,” he complained.