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(From Guardian Unlimited)
Republicans broke with the tradition of publicly backing a president during a national security crisis when they accused Barack Obama of endangering Americans and being soft on terror over al-Qaida's attempt to bomb a transatlantic flight.
Democratic party leaders hit back by saying the president's opponents were seeking to make political gain out of the failed attack above Detroit by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
Some of the strongest criticism has come from the former vice-president Dick Cheney, who accused Obama of weakening US security.
"President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war," Cheney said.