WASHINGTON &

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's claim that she's the only Democrat who could win the White House after a new terrorist attack is "tasteless," Sen. Christopher Dodd charged Friday.

"It's a horrible prospect to ask yourself, 'What if? What if?' " she told a surprised gathering in Dover, N.H., Thursday. "But if certain things happen between now and the election, particularly with respect to terrorism, that will automatically give the Republicans an advantage again."

She added that she would be "the best of the Democrats" to deal with GOP attacks.

"Frankly, I find it tasteless to discuss political implications when talking about a potential terrorist attack on the United States," said Dodd, a Democratic presidential candidate from Connecticut who averages — percent to 2 percent in national polls.

A Clinton spokesman said she was "was making clear that she has the strength and experience to keep the country safe."

Distributed by the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service