The White House hit back at Dick Cheney after the former VP told Politico that President Obama is "trying to pretend" the nation isn't at war with terrorists. It's certainly not the first time Cheney has criticized the Obama administration's approach to terrorism, but it was an unusually direct response from the White House, which hasn't gone after Cheney so aggressively in the past after his myriad critiques of the new president's handle on international security.

White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer took to the White House blog to respond. There are numerous examples of Obama recognizing that the nation is at war, Pfeiffer wrote, but "The difference is this: President Obama doesn't need to beat his chest to prove it, and -- unlike the last Administration -- we are not at war with a tactic ("terrorism"), we at war with something that is tangible: al Qaeda and its violent extremist allies. And we will prosecute that war as long as the American people are endangered."

"Vice President Cheney and others seem to be more focused on criticizing the Administration than condemning the attackers," Pfeiffer wrote, asserting that "this President is not interested in bellicose rhetoric, he is focused on action. Seven years of bellicose rhetoric failed to reduce the threat from al Qaeda and succeeded in dividing this country."

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