Hillary Clinton's criticism of Bush aids U.S. enemies

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's likely Republican Senate race challenger charged Monday that the New York Democrat's criticism of the Bush administration "aids and abets our enemies." John Spencer's comments to reporters came after a fiery speech to the state Conservative Party leadership in which, during a defense of the Patriot Act, he also attacked the administration of former President Bill Clinton.

"I wish we had it before 9-11," said the former mayor of Yonkers. "And, I wish we had an administration in Washington that wasn't an appeasing, liberal, whining administration in the 90's that allowed the terrorists to build up the way they built up." There was no immediate comment from the former first lady.

Polls show Spencer trailing far behind Clinton in her bid for a second Senate term, and she has a huge fundraising advantage as well. She is a potential 2008 Democratic presidential candidate.

Asked after his speech about his criticism of Sen. Clinton, who voted to authorize sending troops to Iraq but who has been highly critical of President George W. Bush's conduct of the war, Spencer said the senator "puts politics first in our war on terror and our troops second."

Spencer said that while there was a way to properly criticize the conduct of a war, he cited Republican Sen. John McCain, "You shouldn't do it with such divisive and blame-America-first methodology, and that's what she does, which aids and abets our enemies."

Lumping Clinton with Sens. John Kerry and Edward Kennedy, Spencer added, "They seem to salivate at what they hope would be bad news for the Bush administration, and that's divisive for our nation." Meanwhile, the Spencer campaign unveiled a video advertisement that is running on its Web site. The ad attacks Clinton for her criticism of the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program. "I'm running for Senate because I won't play politics with our security," Spencer says in the ad, reports the AP.

N.U.