Obama touts campaign promise in national security victory lap
October 22nd, 2011
10:54 AM ET
7 years ago

Obama touts campaign promise in national security victory lap

Washington (CNN) - President Obama may be fighting an uphill battle in trying to turn the nation's ailing economy around, but when it comes to national security his accomplishments are stacking up.

From killing Osama bin Laden and American al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, to the NATO-led effort that ended in the death of Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, critics who have argued over the administration's foreign policy strategy are offering up muted praise.

The president is quick to point out that his latest move to pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq by the end of the year, ending the nearly nine-year war, fulfills a campaign promise.

It's a not so subtle reminder to a skeptical public as he battles low approval ratings and works to shore up his base ahead of the 2012 elections.

"This is a significant moment in our history," the president wrote in a letter to supporters circulated by email. "Today the United States moves forward from a position of strength."

The letter mirrors remarks the president made Friday at the White House. It was a victory lap of sorts that touched an emotional chord as he wrote that "our servicemen and women will be with their families for the holidays."

Are we seeing the makings of a new campaign strategy that will focus more heavily on what is working while still pushing to fix what is not?

It certainly appears that way.

But a senior campaign official tells CNN that, "We still anticipate the most significant issue in the campaign will be that the president is fighting everyday to restore economic security for the middle class."

At the same time the official makes the case for the president's national security strategy that has "degraded al Qaeda" and "strengthened American leadership around the world."

"That record speaks to the strength and effectiveness of his leadership," the official said.

Polls show Americans are more concerned about jobs and the economy than terrorism and war. Some might argue that Obama's statement Friday that began with a promise he made "as a candidate for president," had political overtones.

But the campaign official said the president's accomplishments "provide a vindication of his [foreign policy] strategy."

Filed under: Iraq • President Obama
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. mike

    When Obama gets rid of illegals, then I'll listen. When he stops supporting the Zionist state, then I'll listen.

    October 22, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  2. Doug

    Nothing is more Democrat other than wishing harm to those who think differently than you, than taking credit for something you had no part of.

    October 22, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  3. Victoria avgam54

    @ mike obviously you have not seen his record numbers. 400,000 in 3 years. more then bush deported in 8 years. This pres has kept a lot of campaign promises and number one to me is the ability to not lose sight of his core convictions.

    October 22, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  4. Dan

    Isn't it just amazing how the Democrats just love our 'Nobel Peace Prize' president. Our 'Nobel Peace Prize' president has murdered more humans and launched more missiles than ALL 'Nobel Peace Prize' winners combined. Something to be real proud of, right Democrats?

    October 22, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  5. Victoria avgam54

    @doug the president much like most sane people was against this war in the 1st place.

    October 22, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  6. Lynn

    As Andrew Sullivan said, if a Republican had accomplished what the president had, Republicans would be clamoring for his face on Mr. Rushmore.

    October 22, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  7. once upon a horse

    I bet if Bush had of done what Obama has done so far, the right wing would be eating it up....hell they would be doing the victory lap for him. You hypocritical rightes crack me up. You just can stand the fact Obama has done what most Republican presidents dream they could have done.

    October 22, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I am getting the impression that Doug aligns his thinking to that of bin Laden, and McCain's friend Moammar. If republicans want people to think they are clueless on foreign policy, soft on the war on terror, and care only of the interests of big corporations and billionaires, then "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!"

    October 22, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  9. 1crusader

    I think that President Obama has every right, and should, take a victory lap.If it had been George Bush, he would have done that and more, and no Republicans would have given one word of criticism.The president has quietly, and brilliantly performed his duties as Commander-in-Chief, and deserves a lot of credit tRepublicans criticize him because it blows a whole in their argument that he is a weak naieve, and ineffective leader.

    October 22, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. sunpacific

    Doug, he took credit for something he had no part of? Really? He didn't decide on the level of American involvement in Libya that prevented our armed forces from being spread too thin, made our allies pick up the slack, and resulted in the toppling and death of one of the world's dictators and sponsors of terrorism? He had no involvement in ordering the successful covert operation in Pakistan that resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of 9/11? Who SHOULD take credit for that? George Dubya Bush? You know, the guy that attacked the wrong country – Iraq – that had neither WMDs nor Osama. Should we give Bush Jr. credit for not catching Osama? Should we thank him for catching Anwar al-Awlaki? We can, though, thank him for the shattered economy that this current administration has inherited.

    October 22, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |