Barack Obama on bin Laden anniversary: What would Mitt Romney have done?

In celebration of the first anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, the re-election campaign of President Barack Obama has launched this 90-second video in which former President Bill Clinton – now a full partner in the Obama re-elect – explains the gamble taken by the man who beat Hillary Clinton in ’08.

But what had everyone talking over the weekend is the suggestion — raised not by Bill Clinton personally, but in within the ad – that GOP rival Mitt Romney might not have been up to such a decision.

I’m trying to remember the last time a Democrat went after a Republican this hard, this early and this forcefully on national security. Jack Kennedy on Richard Nixon?

Here’s the ad:

From Bill Clinton:

”That’s one thing George Bush said that’s right. The president is the decider-in-chief. Nobody can make that decision for you. Look, he knew what would happen. Suppose the Navy Seals had gone in there and it hadn’t been Bin Laden? Suppose they had been captured or killed?

“The downside would have been horrible for him. But he reasoned; ‘I cannot in good conscience do nothing.’ He took the harder and the more honorable path. And the one that produced, in my opinion, the best result.”

Then comes the attack on Mitt Romney:

”Which path would Romney have taken? Mitt Romney criticized Barack Obama for vowing to strike al-Qaeda targets inside Pakistan if necessary.”

Bill Clinton continues:

“He had to decide. And that’s what you hire a president to do. You hire the president to make the calls when no one else can do it.”

Here’s the immediate reaction from the Romney campaign, via the Associated Press:

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says “of course” he would have ordered Osama bin Laden killed.

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has raised questions about Romney’s willingness to assassinate the former terrorist leader and mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. Obama authorized the U.S. military raid in Pakistan that ended with bin Laden’s death one year ago this week.

Speaking to reporters in New Hampshire on Monday, Romney said he would have made the same decision.

“Of course. Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order,” Romney said, answering a reporter’s question.

Romney has scheduled an appearance Tuesday in New York City with firefighters and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to mark the anniversary of bin Laden’s death.

On Sunday, Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs said it was unclear whether Romney would have made the same decision as Obama.

“Look, just a few years ago, President Obama — then a candidate — said in a speech that if we had actionable intelligence of a high-value target in Pakistan, we’d go in and get that high value target,” Gibbs said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” ”Mitt Romney said that was foolish. He wouldn’t do such a thing. That he wouldn’t move heaven and earth to get Osama bin Laden.”

Former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu, a key Romney supporter who was chief of staff in President George H. W. Bush’s White House, said Obama is wrong to take credit for bin Laden’s killing. Sununu said the decision was ultimately made by a Navy admiral.

“It’s wrong in taking credit and it’s wrong in implying that someone else would not have made the same decision,” Sununu said before Romney addressed a crowd on Portsmouth Fish Pier. “There is no way that anyone sitting in that White House would not have at least done what he did.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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216 comments Add your comment

ByteMe

April 30th, 2012
2:53 pm

Mitt Romney criticized Barack Obama for vowing to strike al-Qaeda targets inside Pakistan if necessary.”

That was then. A few shakes of the etch-a-sketch later…

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says “of course” he would have ordered Osama bin Laden killed.

Flip. Flop.

Centrist

April 30th, 2012
2:56 pm

Galloway blogged this: “I’m trying to remember the last time a Democrat went after a Republican this hard, this early and this forcefully on national security.”

Then he, like the rest of the liberal media, repeated the paid Obama ad for free.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

April 30th, 2012
2:58 pm

Strawman: “Obama is to be given credit for taking out Bin Ladin, but his other crazy left wing economic policies counter anything he did to deserve credit for this. Oh, and as a businessman, I would instinctively know how to do the job better.”

tb: “I’m a pretty pretty pretty bird. I mean…wait, is this thing on? Obama is terrible and his policies are ruining our country! Anything Obama does is bad because Obama did it. And it was our seals that he ordered that did the job, not him. When a president is a Republican, they get credit for the good things for the military and economy. When a president is a democrat, they get credit for nothing, no way no how.”

Going wrong: “Bama sucks! San…Cai…er…Gin….(sigh) Romney 2012! San Diemas High School Football Rules!”

Aaron Burr V Mexico

April 30th, 2012
2:58 pm

Oh! Burn! Strawman didn’t even give TOKEN props to democrats this time, once again proving his CENTRAL position on everything.

DannyX

April 30th, 2012
2:59 pm

August 2007
Barack Obama:”If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.”

Romney response: “I do not concur in the words of Barack Obama in a plan to enter an ally of ours… I don’t think those kinds of comments help in this effort to draw more friends to our effort,”

Centrist

April 30th, 2012
3:05 pm

Below dialogue from the movie Casa Blanca. Substitute Blogger Galloway for Captain Renault, and the DNC for the Croupier:

Captain Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.

Taxi Smith

April 30th, 2012
3:05 pm

Well, show me a politician who hasn’t “flip-flopped” and I’ll show you an idiot. Haven’t any of you wizards ever changed your minds?

DannyX

April 30th, 2012
3:06 pm

If Romney had his way Bin Laden would still be alive in his compound popping Viagra and watching porn.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

April 30th, 2012
3:13 pm

@Taxi Smith – Changing your mind is fine. Encouraged even.

Changing your mind and criticizing your opponent for his actions, or admitting that you were wrong and acknowledging your past actions is, however, a required part of the process whilst still having ethics.

When Romney comes out and praises Obama for his actions and decisions on Bin Laden, that’s one of 100000 things that he hasn’t flip flopped on.

DannyX

April 30th, 2012
3:15 pm

Below dialogue from Nancy Kerrigan after her chins were whacked with a billy club. Substitute “Centrist” for Nancy Kerrigan:

Nancy Kerrigan: Why me???? Why me???? Why me??? waaaaah… Why me???

WST2

April 30th, 2012
3:24 pm

ByteMe… Let’s see, how about Obama’s flip flops…

2008: “Navy Seal Team 6 is Cheney’s private assassination team.”
2011: “I put together Seal Team 6 to take out Bin Laden.”
2008: “Bin Laden is innocent until proven guilty, and must be captured alive and given a fair trial.”
2011: “I authorized Seal Team 6 to kill Bin Laden.”
2008: “Guantanamo is entirely unnecessary, and the detainees should not be interrogated.”
2011: “Vital intelligence was obtained from Guantanamo detainees that led to our locating Bin Laden.”

Political

April 30th, 2012
3:28 pm

Desperate actions by a desperate prez. How many other times had decisions been made that did not pan out? How many times did this prez say “here are the dates we are leaving. or here are the dates we are arriving?” It’s easy to be 20-20 AFTER the action has been successful. The prez has no other success stories to tell. His domestic as well as foreign policies and actions are a disaster. Like I sadi desperate.

AtticusFinch

April 30th, 2012
3:29 pm

Political

April 30th, 2012
3:29 pm

And well said WST2. I agree

Aaron Burr V Mexico

April 30th, 2012
3:30 pm

@WST2 – Hey there disgusting. Let’s see a non Fox link quote that says Obama actually said those things.

You are truly disgusting. I mean that sincerely. DISGUSTING.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

April 30th, 2012
3:30 pm

@Political – Then you are also DISGUSTING.

Political

April 30th, 2012
3:31 pm

Get your facts straight AtticusFinch, snopes and other internet sites that have trashed the real facts have been found that they are supporters of obama and the democrats. You need to look at the independent orgs.

BP

April 30th, 2012
3:32 pm

Great video. It’s right on point. These comments above are non sense. It’s hard to tell if it’s spam of just stupid people.

Either way the President made an impossible call and deserves credit. Everyone needs to be reminded of this because most Americans tend to forget. It took him 3 years as Commander and Chief to take out Bin Laden. I’m glad he’s my president.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

April 30th, 2012
3:32 pm

Political – That’s right. Snopes is compromised because its not conservapedia.

DIS-GUST-ING.

ObamaLover

April 30th, 2012
3:32 pm

I love MY PRESIDENT!! He is one smart, well spoken man who puts Romney and every other Republican candidate thus far to shame. Needless to say, this race will be a breeze for him and boy am I glad. Obama 2012 in full effect!

JB

April 30th, 2012
3:33 pm

I find it unbelieveable that the man who could have had bin laden taken out in the late 1990s, and didn’t, DARE to question what someone might or might not have done. He had the chance, and we know what Bubba DID NOT DO!!! We also know how dearly that decision cost us as a nation on November 11, 2001. Now the desperate D’s are resorting to hypotheticals as a strategy?! Really?! I always say that the D’s play down to the lowest possible forms of voters, and this new thing just proves that. Good Lord!!!

Political

April 30th, 2012
3:33 pm

For AaronBurr v Mexico: It’s disgusting for someone to have a different view than you? What country do you think you live in? Look at the 1st Amendment again or try reading the Declaration of Independence, all of it!

Aaron Burr V Mexico

April 30th, 2012
3:33 pm

Where’s your original source link there Political? And don’t do what your friends do and link to some totally unnavigable OMB website. Hell, show me a ‘professional’ website that said those things, even Drudge or Fox. Seriously, I hope Fox did say that because I would LOVE to use it to ram it down the throats of people like “centrist.”

Political

April 30th, 2012
3:35 pm

obamalover – open your eyes.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

April 30th, 2012
3:35 pm

@Political – It is DISGUSTING that you spew your crap without backing it up. The first amendment protects Speech. Unlike our bogus supreme court I do not believe in the right to LIE without consequence.

Where’s the proof Political? You are disgusting because you are literally spreading LIES. FLAT OUT LIES.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

April 30th, 2012
3:35 pm

@Political Disgusting – Open. Your. Eyes demonspawn. :)

DannyX

April 30th, 2012
3:37 pm

“Hell, show me a ‘professional’ website that said those things, even Drudge or Fox.”

He might want to try blackhelicopters.com

Political

April 30th, 2012
3:39 pm

AaronBurr – first of all, never trust links, that’s how you infect your computer. I read newspapers, or internet news or watch Fox,CNN,Local News, but I make my own opinions and views. I look at what the results are. Since 2008, our house values have dropped dramatically, our money and our manufacturing are being shipped overseas, our jobless rates are at their highest. Who did this? Our Congress and the Prez who signed the legislation. That rests solely on one person’s shoulder

Political

April 30th, 2012
3:42 pm

AaronBurr V Mexico – relax buddy, you get 1 vote and I get 1 vote. we’ll cancel each other out. lol

Roekest

April 30th, 2012
3:42 pm

When you can’t run on your lousy record……DIVERT! DIVERT! DIVERT! HOT BUTTON! HOT BUTTON! HOT BUTTON! NON-CAMPAIGN ISSUE! NON-CAMPAIGN ISSUE! NON-CAMPAIGN ISSUE!

Aaron Burr V Mexico

April 30th, 2012
3:42 pm

@Political – OMG – So ‘because I don’t trust links’ I can then therefore spew whatever lies I want. You make your own opinions? Dude, you make up your own facts.

Congress did it you betch your asterix, and is Obama incompotent on a lot of things? Sure.

Rests on one person’s shoulder? Are you from mars?

Are you really that mentally contarted? I mean seriously.

You just sit there and tell me to read the declaration of indepdendence and the constitution and then place the blame for this mess on one person?

Are you really just that stupid? I means seriously. ONE GUY? ONE GUY is responsible for that? Even if you blame democrats there’s a whole roster to choose from and is Bush some kind of immaculately conceived sinless president in thine hole filled head?

Get the behind me nimrod.

Wow, you win the stupid contest today Political. Seriously.

You have set a new low bar for tb and Gone Wrong.

Political

April 30th, 2012
3:43 pm

AaronBurr – Unless you are part of the party that goes to grave sites and “signs up” voters

Political

April 30th, 2012
3:44 pm

AaronBurr – Seriously? OMG? How bout lol? What are you 12?

Aaron Burr V Mexico

April 30th, 2012
3:45 pm

@Political – I fight for cow viewing space Political. And what makes you think I’m voting for Obama? Hello. Weakling that puts up with people like YOU too much.

@LeroyJenkins – Yeah, the distractodance aint comin from Obama pal. Killing Bin Ladin IS PART OF HIS RECORD. Killing Bin Ladin IS PART OF HIS RECORD. Killing Bin Ladin IS PART OF HIS RECORD. Killing Bin Ladin IS PART OF HIS RECORD. Killing Bin Ladin IS PART OF HIS RECORD. Killing Bin Ladin IS PART OF HIS RECORD.

Look, I can shout like a four year old too! :)

Ben

April 30th, 2012
3:45 pm

Obama had as much to do with killing Osama as Nixon had to do with landing on the moon.

Also, Clinton really should stay out of this. He had the chance to capture or kill Osama in the late ’90s and didn’t.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

April 30th, 2012
3:46 pm

@Village Has Lost an Idiot – Actually if there was a necromancy party I’d TOTALLY vote for that. Cthulu 2012, why go for the lesser evil! :)

Well I’d say the full saying but they have filters here. Kind of like the filters that keep you from perceiving reality in a recognizable fashion. :)

DannyX

April 30th, 2012
3:47 pm

“Obama had as much to do with killing Osama as Nixon had to do with landing on the moon.”

The point is Obama ordered the killing, Romney wanted Kumbaya.

Road Scholar

April 30th, 2012
3:47 pm

“Sununu said the decision was ultimately made by a Navy admiral.”

So, under Romney, a naval admiral is allowed to invade another country w/o permission and direction from the Commander in Chief?

““It’s wrong in taking credit and it’s wrong in implying that someone else would not have made the same decision,”; Like other decisions by President Obama? Continued second guessing when they don’t have all the facts?

Have they no shame? Hell, no! Damn! Just dropped my etch a sketch. I wonder what will come up next?

Aaron Burr V Mexico

April 30th, 2012
3:48 pm

@UncleBensRice – Actually Nixon had quite a bit to do with landing on the moon. Which shows you have zero understanding of history.

And yes, Clinton should stay out of this.

Obama, on the other hand, did direct the death of Osama, unlike Bush and Clinton who didn’t have the guts to do it. Or Romney. Or you.

Political

April 30th, 2012
3:48 pm

AaronBurr V Mexico – I think Obama trained Seal Team 6 also as well as lead the team in.

Don't Tread

April 30th, 2012
3:48 pm

Clinton: But he reasoned; ‘I cannot in good conscience do nothing.’ He took the harder and the more honorable path. And the one that produced, in my opinion, the best result.”

And Billy, you had the same choice and chose to do nothing. Maybe thousands of lives and billions of dollars may have been saved if YOU had taken the “honorable path”.

Liberals disgust me.

Utah Dawg

April 30th, 2012
3:49 pm

Yep tough guy Obama…Dems have opposed most anti-terror measures including enhanced interrogation methods. Curious wether we gained actionable intelligence from any of these measures that helped find Bin Laden. It’s really distasteful for the Prez to make political hay from this. It is the the men on the ground that really took the risk. He should be applauding them vs. taking a victory lap a year later.

Political

April 30th, 2012
3:50 pm

AaronBurr V Mexico – Try to follow, Bush is the President who started us on our way to finding osama for which the democrats AND obama opposed.

Bigred

April 30th, 2012
3:50 pm

Obama didn’t do CRAP. He didn’t train (never been in the military), he didn’t sweat, he has ate dog but that’s about all. The military commanders in the field made the decision and the Seals did the dirty work. Obama only rubber stamped it. How dare him take credit for the kill!

LMAO

April 30th, 2012
3:51 pm

Damn!!! YOU guys made flip flopping an issue in 2004. Remember what’s his name – John Kerry (LOL). NOW it’s doesn’t matter? You folks are SICK!!!!! That’s why no one cares for politics. Standard GOP line – “All politicians are crooks except the one I’m voting for (wink, wink)” LAMO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DannyX

April 30th, 2012
3:51 pm

“It’s really distasteful for the Prez to make political hay from this.”

At least he didn’t fly onto an aircraft carrier donned in a flight suit with “Mission Accomplished” blaring in the background.

Political

April 30th, 2012
3:52 pm

BigRed – I agree, I was being sarcastic to our liberal readers.

Jack From Cumming

April 30th, 2012
3:52 pm

What a lame President. He cannot run on his record so he makes up stuff like racism, womens oppression and the fact that Romney would not have done the most obvious thing to do in Obamas presidency.

Centrist

April 30th, 2012
3:53 pm

Political posted “AaronBurr V Mexico – relax buddy, you get 1 vote and I get 1 vote. we’ll cancel each other out. lol”.

Since Georgia has many more conservatives than liberals (you wouldn’t know it reading the AJC and most of their posting followers), it is silly to have these passionate debates here. Georgia is a bright red state and its electoral votes will all go to Romney.

DannyX

April 30th, 2012
3:54 pm

“Obama only rubber stamped it.”

Where as Romney would have said “We can’t do that to our friends, Bin Laden isn’t so bad.”