Pushback

Bush Vets Rebut Ridge's Claims

Leading officials from the George W. Bush White House are disputing Tom Ridge’s claim that politics played a role in setting the country’s terror threat level when Ridge led the Department of Homeland Security. “We went over backwards repeatedly and with great discipline to make sure politics did not influence any national security and homeland security decisions,” former White House chief of staff Andy Card told Politico. In his forthcoming book, Ridge claims that the Bush White House wanted to raise the terror level before the 2004 election. Fellow homeland security official Fran Townsend also rejected Ridge’s claim. “Never in my experience did I see any political influence exerted on the cabinet secretary,” Townsend said. With his new book, Ridge joins the ranks of former Bush insiders like Paul O’Neill and Scott McClellan who have taken a critical look at the White House they served.