Republicans took aim at Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (search) on Monday for comparing President Bush to Mad magazine's freckle-faced, "What, me worry?" kid, Alfred E. Neuman.
A Republican National Committee (search) official said the former first lady was "part of today's angry and adrift Democrat Party," while a spokesman for one of her potential 2006 Senate rivals said she was guilty of "insulting the president."
"At a time when President Bush and most elected officials are focused on the security of our nation, Mrs. Clinton seems focused on taking partisan jabs and promoting her presidential campaign," added New York's GOP chairman, Stephen Minarik. "Her priorities are clearly out of whack."
Clinton's attack on the president came Sunday during a speech in Colorado.
"I sometimes feel that Alfred E. Neuman is in charge in Washington," Clinton said during the inaugural Aspen Ideas Festival, organized by the Aspen Institute, a non-partisan think tank.
The former first lady drew a laugh from the crowd when she described Bush's attitude toward tough issues with Neuman's catch phrase: "What, me worry?"
As Clinton gears up for a Senate re-election race in New York next year and a possible White House presidential bid in 2008, her attacks on Bush have become sharper.
In her speech Sunday, she accused the president of damaging the economy by overspending while giving tax cuts to the rich, depriving U.S. soldiers of equipment needed to fight the war in Iraq and cutting funds for scientific research.
"Hillary Clinton's opportunistic attempt to market herself as a centrist is like a wolf dressing up in sheep's clothing," said RNC spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt. "Such thinly veiled rhetoric doesn't change the fact she is part of today's angry and adrift Democrat Party."
Thomas Basile, a spokesman for potential Senate challenger Edward Cox (search), a son-in-law of the late President Nixon, said while Clinton was "busy insulting the president across the country, she is failing to produce the homeland security and transportation funding" the state needs.
Clinton has been accusing the Bush administration of providing inadequate funding for New York's security needs.
While national polls show the former first lady to be leading the pack among potential 2008 Democratic presidential contenders, Clinton has said she is too wrapped up in her Senate work and re-election effort to think about that.