Watch CBSN Live

Christmas Airplane Plot: The Blame Game

Democrats and Republicans are scrambling to parlay the Christmas Day attempt to blow up an international flight heading for Detroit, Michigan into political gains. "It's a bit of a blame game going on here,"'s Josh Gerstein said on "Washington Unplugged" Tuesday.

Gerstein told moderator CBS News' Wyatt Andrews that, in spite of the blame going around, the House of Representatives recently passed a bill that moved to ban some of the screening machines -- which might have stopped the suspected bomber from clearing security -- with bi-partisan support.

In addition, "the Congress also voted on several occasions to actually tighten up the no fly list to make the standards more restrictive. So it is a little tough for members on Congress to now come and complain about the administration," he reasoned.

Meanwhile, Gerstein explained, the administration is arguing that the safety rules they were following were set up by the Bush administration.

Are privacy issues outweighing security concerns, moderator Wyatt Andrews asked Gerstein?

Both liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans favored the decision to ban the screening machines, but "if it comes up again I think the vote would come out differently," he said.

The Washington Post's Carrie Johnson discussed the current security system and why the Nigerian suspect was able to sneak around the system. Watch the full roundtable above.

View CBS News In