Washington (CNN) – On the same day that senators questioned Attorney General Eric Holder about how the administration fights terrorism, a Republican senator had some advice for President Obama.
Asked about Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said the White House should use the procedures and facilities put in place by the previous president.
“I'm not a lawyer, but I think he's a terrorist just like anybody else,” Grassley said on CNN’s John King, USA. “So bring - I would bring him to Guantanamo, and I would try him in a military commission there and carry whatever out the results of the military commission is. I'd make it that simple.”
Grassley also weighed in on a frequent Republican charge against Obama – that his policies on national security and homeland security have made the nation less safe since he took office last year.
“I think this president wants to deliver on the number one responsibility of the federal government just like any president does and that's our national security. Any president has a chance to send signals that are very clear, maybe in some instances with some of these decisions, it's been a little muddier than Bush would have said, but I don't question his integrity or motivations about keeping us safe,” Grassley said.
The Republican senator added, “The president's where the buck stops but it's the responsibility of a lot of people, and all I can say is the president's got to set the atmosphere, the environment to make sure that everybody's working together, and also to send a clear signal to our enemies overseas that there's no compromise on the war on terror.”
Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland joined Grassley for a sit-down with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. Cardin praised Obama’s approach to battling terrorism.
“I think we're proud of how President Obama has defended our nation,” Cardin told King. “I think - I agree with Senator Grassley. We think that is the first responsibility. I think he's taken the necessary steps in order to protect America. And he's done something else. He's also underscored what we stand for, what our - what this nation's principles are about and he's gotten us much greater international support for our war against terror. All that makes us safer.”
And, looking ahead to November’s mid-term elections, Cardin said Democrats do not view Obama’s record on national security as a potential liability.
“So I think we have a record that we're proud to run on. But again, national security, national defense should never be a partisan issue.”