Key Democrats and Republicans give Napolitano vote of confidence 

On the Sunday talk shows, top officials and former officials from both parties expressed strong confidence in Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in the aftermath of Napolitano's statement that "the system worked" in the Detroit terrorist incident. Napolitano quickly backed down from her assertion, but the controversy over her remarks fueled questions about whether she is up to the task of running the Department of Homeland Security.

Appearing on ABC's "This Week," Sen. Joseph Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee, was asked if Napolitano is the right person for the job. "Yes, she is," Lieberman answered. On the same program, Sen. Susan Collins, the committee's ranking Republican, was asked if she has confidence in Napolitano. "I do," Collins answered.

"I will say that her initial comments were bizarre and inappropriate," Collins added. "It baffled me that she said that the system worked very, very smoothly when clearly it did not. Nevertheless, I believe that Secretary Napolitano is working very hard, and she will cooperate with our efforts to ensure that these breaches will not happen again."

On a number of Sunday morning appearances, top Obama counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, speaking on behalf of the White House, expressed full confidence in Napolitano. "Janet Napolitano has done a tremendous job," Brennan said on NBC's "Meet the Press." Also on "Meet the Press," former Bush homeland security chief Michael Chertoff, when asked whether he has confidence in Napolitano, said, "I do." Chertoff added that he has known Napolitano for a long time and that "she has a good skill set," "great experience," and that "her heart is in the right place." Chertoff concluded: "I heartily endorse her."

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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