Osama Bin Forgotten? Not in 2012 election
The one-year anniversary of Navy Seals’ successful raid on the Osama Bin Laden compound has yielded sourness rather than celebration and charges that President Obama is “spiking the football.”
“Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order,” Republican nominee-in-waiting Mitt Romney said on Monday.
Romney was reacting to the Obama campaign’s use of a 2007-vintage Romney statement in which the former Massachusetts governor blasted then-candidate Obama for saying he would pursue terrorist suspects into Pakistan.
“It’s not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person,” Romney said at the time. A couple days later, however, Romney hastened to add: “He will die.”
Often a loose cannon in the Obama administration, Vice President Joe Biden took deadly aim at Romney at a fundraiser last week, saying: “Thanks to President Obama, Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive. You have to ask yourself: If Governor Romney had been President, could he have used the same slogan — in reverse?”
The claims by Obama surrogates brought charge of exploitation from ex-Republican National Chairman and Romney adviser Ed Gillespie, appearing on Meet the Press. But the most angry response came from Obama’s 2008 opponent Sen. John McCain, who in the ’08 Republican runup took Romney to task on foreign policy.
“No one disputes that the President deserves credit for ordering the raid, but to politicize it in this way is the height of hypocrisy,” McCain said.
Obama was asked about the flap on Monday during a press conference with Japan’s prime minister, and evoked Romney’s 2007 statement with a loving deftness.
“I assume that people meant what they said when they said it,” the President remarked. “I said I’d go after Bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him. And I did. If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they’d do something else, then I’d let them go ahead and explain it.”
Republicans used a tough-on-America’s-enemies posture to win
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