(CNN) - Sen. Robert Menendez said Friday that if the Democratic-controlled Senate agrees to extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts it could be akin to acceding to terrorist demands. Republicans immediately blasted the New Jersey Democrat for his comparison.
Menendez asked at a news conference, "Does the majority not only have a responsibility to get something done but to get something done that makes sense for the country?"
"Do you allow yourself to be held hostage and get something done for the sake of getting something done, when in fact it might be perverse to the ultimate results? It's almost like the question of do you negotiate with terrorists?"
In a statement titled, "Menendez Compares GOP to Terrorists," the office of House Republican Whip Eric Cantor responded, " Um…No Senator, it is not. Not at all."
An aide to Menendez said the senator was talking about how the negotiations are proceeding, not about the Republicans personally.
"It's not surprising that some are eager to take a comment out of context in order to change the subject from the Republican millionaires-first plan," said spokesman Afshin Mohamadi. "The critical point for middle class Americans remains that Republicans have chosen to jeopardize tax cuts for every middle class family in order to guarantee an average tax cut of $104,000 for each millionaire."