Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) – David Axelrod defended President Barack Obama's national security credentials on Sunday, responding to shots taken by Republican presidential candidates during Saturday's debate.
Axelrod, a senior adviser for the president's reelection effort, touted milestones in Obama's first term including the end of the war in Iraq, the death of Osama bin Laden and the declining leadership of al Qaeda to prove the president is a strong commander in chief and hit his potential GOP rivals.
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When discussing Obama's decision to take down bin Laden, Axelrod said he was "not sure Mitt Romney would have made that decision - that was a very courageous decision."
"I don't think the president needs to justify his national security bona fides to the crowd that was on the podium last night," Axelrod added during an appearance on ABC's "This Week."
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who served in the U.S. Air Force, took particular aim at Obama's military decisions Saturday night, suggesting potential cuts to the defense budget would "put America's freedom in jeopardy."
Axelrod used the opportunity to apparently reference a past debate gaffe, when the GOP candidate could not come up with the third government agency he said he would cut as president.
"Gov. Perry's had problems with counting before," Axelrod said.
Programming Note: Watch the ABC News/Yahoo News/WMUR New Hampshire presidential debate Sunday night on CNN at 8 p.m. ET.