kill the messenger
When you can't attack the message attack the messenger:
WASHINGTON - The White House, fuming over a former aide's charge that President Bush gave short-shrift attention to al-Qaida while obsessing over Saddam Hussein, branded the fighting-terrorism flap as "Dick Clarke's American Grandstand."
"When you compare Dick Clarke's current rhetoric with his past comments and actions, the bedrock of his assertions comes crumbling down," said chief presidential spokesman Scott McClellan. He called Clarke's new book, criticizing the administration's handling of the post-Sept. 11 terrorism environment, "more about politics and book promotions than it is about policies."
Expect all Republicans to refer to "Dick" Clarke for the foreseeable future. It's a clever way to demean him without explicitly doing so.
Of course, if Clarke had been critical of the Bushies before now McClellan would be saying that his current comments were "more of the same".
These guys always have an answer. It's just not an answer that answers any question.