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DNC Hits Romney for Bin Laden Comment

DNC Hits Romney for Bin Laden Comment

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - December 22, 2011


Democrats went after Mitt Romney on Thursday for saying "any president" would have ordered the raid in Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden.

The Democratic National Committee released a video highlighting a "Fox News Sunday" interview over the weekend, in which the former Massachusetts governor tells host Chris Wallace, "With regards to Osama bin Laden, we're delighted that [President Obama] gave the order to take out Osama bin Laden, any president would have done that. But this one did and that's a good thing."

The video then shifts to clips of former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani lauding Obama for authorizing the mission.

"I worked with a lot of these guys, and this is one of the most courageous calls, decisions, that I think I've ever seen a president make," Gates says.

"The president, I think, handled this brilliantly, frankly," Powell says as the camera pans across the front page of the Boston Globe's May 2 edition with the headline "Bin Laden Dead."

As Gates describes the risks involved in making such a decision, pictures of Obama in the Oval Office and in the Situation Room, gripping his chin in suspense, flash on screen.

"It takes a lot of courage to make a decision like that; I admire him," Giuliani says in another clip.

The DNC circulated a memo with the video quoting a 2007 Associated Press article in which Romney said, "It’s not worth moving heaven and earth, spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person." He argued that the country would be safer by only "a small percentage" and would see "a very insignificant increase in safety."

The video signals a strong defense of the president and his role in taking down bin Laden. When asked about critics who say his foreign policy is based on appeasement, Obama said at a press conference earlier this month: "Ask Osama bin Laden, and the 22 out of 30 top al-Qaeda leaders who have been taken off the field, whether I engage in appeasement -- or whoever is left out there, ask them about that." 

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at chueyburns@realclearpolitics.com. Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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