By Justin Sink - 09/27/13 03:10 PM EDT
Former Vice President Al Gore accused Republicans Friday of engaging in "political terrorism" by using a government shutdown as leverage to defund ObamaCare.
"The only phrase that describes it is political terrorism,” Gore said at the Brookings Institution, according to ABC News. “Why does partisanship have anything to do with such a despicable and dishonorable threat to the integrity of the United States of America?”
The former vice president also criticized Republicans for threats to link defunding ObamaCare to the debt ceiling, which is set to expire Oct. 17.
Gore's "terrorism" comment comes after White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer likened House Republicans to "people with a bomb strapped to their chest" during an interview with CNN Thursday.
"It is not a negotiation if I show up at your house and say, 'Give me everything inside, or I'm going to burn it down.' The Republicans have provided a laundry list of essentially ransom demands," Pfeiffer said.
Republicans criticized the White House for the rhetoric, with Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer dubbing the remarks "extreme and over the top" and demanding an apology on Twitter.
Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said in a statement that the administration "might want to think about the many families whose lives have been destroyed by suicide bombers, be they American soldiers or American citizens, or allies in places like Israel before he engages in such coarse and base dialogue about what is really nothing more than a democratic debate on a live issue, Obamacare, that only 39% of the American people support."
"To compare that to a despicable tactic like suicide bombing, I think, is really beyond the bounds of civilized discourse in our country," Cotton said.