Republican Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.) on Wednesday blasted President Barack Obama for a homeland security policy that has mostly "downplayed terrorism."

In an interview with CBS's "The Early Show," the South Carolina senator expressed concern the president "doesn't use the word anymore" and has otherwise failed to focus closely enough on emerging threats at home and abroad.


DeMint also fired back in the war of words among the White House, Senate Democrats and Republicans over the administration's nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration.

While DeMint has so far blocked a confirmation vote on Erroll Southers, he charged it was the Obama administration that was to blame for the delay, as the White House initially stalled and later tried to rush the approval of its proposed adviser.

"He waited eight months to nominate someone as head of [the TSA] and then they wanted to rush it through without any debate or roll call vote," DeMint said.

"When they move ahead with the transportation security head and say his stated goal is to unionize rather than to focus on security, I think it is something we should have a discussion about on the Senate floor and have a roll call vote," the senator added.

The Department of Homeland Security, the TSA and a host of related agencies have fielded constant criticism since a Nigerian man attempted to bomb an international flight at a Detroit airport.

News that those agencies had some prior knowledge of a coming attack has since inflamed the administration's most vocal GOP critics, including DeMint, who said the Obama White House has not done enough to address the ever-present threat of terrorism.

"It clearly is a problem with our intelligence system not talking to each other … we put Homeland Security together in order that these agencies would talk together, and the fact that they're not on something that seems so obvious is disturbing," he said.