Would Mitt Romney have ordered the raid that killed Bin Laden? A new Obama campaign video released on Friday strongly implies that Romney, in spite of the bluster about a more aggressive foreign policy, would not have issued an order for the raid.
ABC News reports that since Vice President Joe Biden coined the slogan "Bin Laden is dead, GM is alive," it has been clear that a major thrust of Obama's campaign would use the success of the May 2, 2011 Navy SEAL assassination of Bin Laden as a powerful campaign tool.
Reuters reports the ad, entitled "One Chance," was released in advance of the May Day anniversary of Osama bin Laden's assassination. It takes footage from the recently released 17-minute campaign commercial "The Road We've Traveled" and starts with the message: "The Commander-in-Chief gets one chance to make the right decision." Former President Bill Clinton is shown, saying: "That's one thing George Bush said that was right: The president is the decider in chief. Nobody can make that decision for you." Clinton continued: "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."
The video shows a footage of Americans, including an image of a New York City firefighter cheering at the news of Bin Laden's death.
"What path would Mitt Romney have taken?"
To support its claim that Romney would not have done the "right thing," the video refers viewers to an April 2007 AP interview in which Romney said the U.S. would not be significantly safer with Bin Laden dead. Romney said: "...it's not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person." But Romney flip-flops on the question. A few days later in a May 3, 2007 debate, he was asked about his comment and now he said: "We'll move everything to get him...This is a global effort we're going to have to lead to overcome this jihadist effort. It's more than Osama bin Laden. But he is going to pay, and he will die."
The video ends with Clinton's words: "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..."
Romney campaign has reacted to the video. Miami Herald reports Andrea Saul, Romney's campaign spokeswoman, responded sharply: " The killing of Osama bin Laden was a momentous day for all Americans and the world, and Governor Romney congratulated the military, our intelligence agencies, and the President. It's now sad to see the Obama campaign seek to use an event that unified our country to once again divide us, in order to try to distract voters' attention from the failures of his administration. With 23 million Americans struggling for work, our national debt soaring, and household budgets being squeezed like never before, Mitt Romney is focused on strengthening America at home and abroad."
The Hill reports Vice President Biden also attacked Romney on Thursday on the issue: "I think nothing speaks more powerfully to the differences between President Obama and Governor Romney than one of the defining moments in the past four years, the hunt for Osama bin Laden."