Republican Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.) on Sunday revived his assault against the White House's approach to counter-terrorism, charging the president was too "distracted by other things" to focus intently enough on national security.

During an interview on CNN"s "State of the Union," DeMint said President Barack Obama has "downplayed the risk of terrorism since taking office," to the detriment to Americans' safety.


"It begins with not even been willing to use the word," DeMint said. "Aside from the semantics, he's been completely distracted by other thngs, and he is not focused on building the security and intelligence apparatus of our country."

DeMint has been exceptionally critical of the White House's handling of the Flight 253 terror plot. He remains at the center of the debate, however, because he has placed a hold on the confirmation vote of Erroll Southers, the White House's nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration.

Democrats have thus accused DeMint at playing politics at an inappropriate time -- a charge taken up by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who appeared with DeMint this morning.

"This president is focused like a laser on how to keep this country safe," she fired back at DeMint, noting it was "unfair" to "take potshots" at the White House on terrorism.