Clinton had sharp words for President Bush Thursday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sharply criticized President Bush Thursday for comparing Democrats opposed to his terrorist-surveillance program to those who ignored the rise of Hitler and Lenin.
“George Bush’s faulty and offensive historical analogies aren’t going to end the war in Iraq, make America safer or bring our troops home," the New York senator said Thursday in a statement. "Americans are tired of the president’s efforts to play politics with national security and practice the politics of division.
Speaking before the Heritage Foundation Thursday, Bush criticized Congress for failing to act on intelligence legislation that is "vital to protect the American people in this war on terror," and suggested Democrats are underestimating the terrorist threat.
"History teaches that underestimating the words of evil, ambitious men is a terrible mistake," Bush said. "In the early 1900s, the world ignored the words of Lenin, as he laid out his plans to launch a Communist revolution in Russia — and the world paid a terrible price.
“In the 1920s, the world ignored the words of Hitler, as he explained his intention to build an Aryan super-state in Germany, take revenge on Europe, and eradicate the Jews — and the world paid a terrible price," Bush continued. "Bin Laden and his terrorist allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them. And the question is: Will we listen?"
Responding to Clinton's criticisms, Republican National Committee spokesman Brian Walton said the New York senator "has zero credibility when it comes to terrorist surveillance."
"This is the same Hillary that is ok with listening to the phone calls of political opponents, but is opposed to listening to the phone calls of terrorists who want to kill Americans," he added, in reference to an allegation in a recent book that Clinton secretly listened to phone conversations of political opponents in 1992.
In the same speech, Bush also linked Congressional Democrats to the liberal group MoveOn.org and the anti-war group Code Pink. (Video: CNN's Suzanne Malveaux reports on Bush's tough words for the Democrats)
"When it comes to funding our troops, some in Washington should spend more time responding to the warnings of terrorists like Osama bin Laden and the requests of our commanders on the ground," Bush said, "and less time responding to the demands of MoveOn.org bloggers and Code Pink protesters."
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney