McCain: Obama campaign video invoking bin Laden is 'pathetic'
April 27th, 2012
09:32 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain: Obama campaign video invoking bin Laden is 'pathetic'

(CNN) – Sen. John McCain on Friday evening sharply rebuked a web video produced by President Barack Obama's re-election campaign that questioned whether presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney would have ordered the raid that culminated in the killing of terrorism mastermind Osama bin Laden.

"Shame on Barack Obama for diminishing the memory of September 11th and the killing of Osama bin Laden by turning it into a cheap political attack ad," McCain said in a statement distributed by the Republican National Committee.

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"This is the same president who said, after bin Laden was dead, that we shouldn't 'spike the ball' after the touchdown. And now Barack Obama is not only trying to score political points by invoking Osama bin Laden, he is doing a shameless end-zone dance to help himself get reelected," he continued.

The video was posted Friday morning, just days ahead of the one-year anniversary of the operation authorized by Obama.

McCain, who is a top surrogate for Romney and was the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, said Obama deserves credit for ordering the operation, but characterizes the ad’s political motives as "hypocritical."

The campaign video features former President Bill Clinton praising Obama for authorizing the raid and explaining the gravity of that choice. "The president is the decider-in-chief. Nobody can make that decision for you," Clinton said.

Text on the screen asks, "Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?" It further quotes the former Massachusetts governor saying during his 2008 presidential bid, "It's not worth moving heaven and earth, spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person."

Romney later backpedaled from the comment, which he made to The Associated Press, saying at a presidential debate, "We'll move everything to get him."

Hours before McCain, a spokeswoman for Romney’s campaign likewise criticized the video.

"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," press secretary Andrea Saul said.

Filed under: 2012 • John McCain • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (128 Responses)
  1. G

    President Obama brought down Osama bin Laden. The only thing Romney can bring down is companies. It was Romney who said "It's not worth moving heaven and earth, spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person."

    April 28, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  2. sgompers

    Rudy Guilliani has used 9/11 for the past 11 yrs. to try to get elected to anything,including another term as NYC mayor and they have term limits. By the way the only thing Ol' Rudy did at the time was walk around with a dust mask on patting the real heroes on the back. The fire fighters.

    April 28, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  3. MP in VA

    Wow. What a bunch of sissies! Can dish it out, but can't take it, eh? Time to put your big girl panties on, Republicans.

    April 28, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  4. jean2009

    The reason McCain is not president is he is pathetic. The GOP didn't want to give the president credit for making the decision to take out bin Laden, and now they want to whine about it being an actual accomplishment. If they hadn't wanted this to happen maybe George W. Bush should have focused more on keeping that promise of getting bin Laden "dead or alive", and less on war-profiteering, going into Iraq for non-existent WMD, and making the 1% the prime beneficiaries of public largesse.

    April 28, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  5. JohninPhoenix

    Wasn't it McCain who said that we "can not go into Pakistan to kill bin laden" cause Pakistan was a friend which he said at the same town hall style debate Obama said "We will kill bin Laden even if he is in Pakistan"

    April 28, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  6. Thinking12

    I don't recall Senator McCain complaining when George Bush used 9/11 for political gain over and over and over again.

    April 28, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  7. Are you kidding me?

    Cry baby. I am happy he lost because I don't think he would have been able to execute the fight in terrorism like our president. Especially with Mrs. Attention Seeker as his VP.

    Fact is this video was fantastic. I want to know what his real opinion of Karl Rove's ad is. If he agrees with it then you know the truth – party over the truth.

    The GOP in office are a bunch of thin-skinned adolescents an are incapable of representing the people. Time for a change from the radically influenced GOP to moderate thinking adults who will actually do something.

    April 28, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  8. Gurgyl

    Osama Bin Laden killed, GM alive–truth...

    April 28, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  9. RINO Bil

    Like Bush wouldn't have done the same thing in '04 if he had given the orders to cap bin Laden. Hell. Cheney would have probably taken credit for shooting the SOB!

    If you want "pathetic," Senator McCain, think of those two magical Republican words, "Mission Accomplished."

    April 28, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  10. wgf

    Oh please... if Bin Laden had been killed during a Republicn administration they would have been touting it as proof positive that only the Republicans can protect the US from its enemies. I mean, they were already saying that WITHOUT having killed Bin Laden, and after having allowed Bin Laden to escape from Tora Bora.

    Cheney went around for a year after Obama was elected saying how Obama would be unable/unwilling to keep the US safe, and that all Democrats were basically wimpy terrorist sympathisers. Palin based her entire campaign around the idea that Obama "pal-ed around" with terrorists. So now Obama gets to ask the question on what the Republicans would have done. Live with it.

    April 28, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  11. Bill in VA

    This is rich. Obama acts like he did something no one else would have done. The hunt started long before Obama was President. it was done by professionals. The only thing any president could have was done screw it up by saying no. They make it sound like it was a tough call. All the risk was in saying no. If it got out that any president had even a weak chance at Bin Laden and said no, that president would have never got re-elected and had a legacy no one would want. But I agree, Obama didn't screw it up.

    April 28, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  12. Mike's Tiki Bar

    The ad's in very poor taste. Hard to defend and I won't try, nor do i feel a need to. Once again, we have to decide between mediocre and horrible.

    April 28, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  13. FED up

    I think the real question here is Osama Bin Laden has been dead for a year now, why are we still spending ten billion a week in Afghanistan? I seem to recall Obama promising to end the Bush wars in 08. Many of us voted for Obama last time because he said he would end the war. Obama is all smoke and mirrors.

    April 28, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  14. Thinkergal

    Word of the week for the Repubs - "pathetic". They all come across as looney. McCain also comes across (and has ever since he lost the election) as suffering from an acute case of sour grapes.

    April 28, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  15. Kevin

    What's pathetic is not having the class to give credit where credit is due. The GOP is sickening.

    April 28, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  16. Curt

    What a pathetic old man you are McCain. Don't think I've ever seen a politician so disrespectful to the President. Get over it, you lost the election. We all know how good your judgement is, after all you chose Palin to be your running mate and to this day will not admit what a mistake it was.

    April 28, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  17. FED up

    For once I agree with Mc Cain. Obama is actually giving Bush's claims credit by pushing this issue in an attempt to put himself in a favorable spotlight. The democrats need to do some serious re-evaluation on what they think they stand for. Aside from promoting big government, Obama has been a real change of course for them. I mean four years ago the dems were blaming bush for bankrupting our country with these illegal wars. Now Obama is doing the same and they are all for it. On top of that, Obama has turned the war on terror towards the american people. He extended the patriot act and gave us the NDAA. The TSA is now patroling our highways (guess they couldn't find enough terrorists at the airport). What's next? Get a clue people. Obama wants to keep the wars going.

    April 28, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  18. American

    McCain complains about using Romney's own words when he & others hypocritically attacked Sen. Obama's statement about taking out OBL with actionable intelligence in Pakistan. President Obama ended up being courageous and right.

    April 28, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  19. strangerq

    So according to the GOP: The election is all about President Obama.

    Who rescued the auto industry and caught decimated Al Qaeda.

    But "shame on the President" for having the nerve to actually defend his record. (??)

    LOL> GOP is pathetic band of losers.

    Obama's gonna' kick your rear ends.....AGAIN.

    April 28, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  20. selling books

    Yeah Presidet Obama... how dare you remind the people of the United States that you accomplished what Bush and friends couldn't. How dare you use it politically.. don't you know that McCain would have never... well the he might not ... well ok... he would have.. but since he isn't the president....How dare you Obama!

    April 28, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  21. bcnu_too

    We all know if the situation were reversed and Bid Laden was taken out under a Republican president they would be shoving it down the American public's throats of what a good job they did. He is a jealous, senile old man who needs to retire from the Senate and needs to retire from running his mouth.

    April 28, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  22. Pete

    Talk about attack ads,McCain and his Palin aired many an ad that contained racial inuendoes against then senator Obama.He himself was interviewed on a news show and he denied these racial displays until they showed McCAIN the recorded ads,he then backstepped saying he'd admonish the campaign person responsible for such ads.This hypocricy from the rightwingers has been their motive for years and they've lost many a campaign because of it.So tell the republicans quit pointing fingers,their not choir boys,but are racially motivated activists out to destroy a black president ,a man out to help the citizens of this nation.Their exposure may stop the party as a whole because of their toxic agenda...Then we will see civility again in government...

    April 28, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  23. gg

    romney would do what bush and chenney did ,take money from the bin laden family to let osama slide out the back door

    April 28, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  24. Haha

    Who even cares what this scrotum faced PTSD adulterer has to say anyway? You LOST THE ELECTION McCain- now shut up.

    April 28, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  25. Russ in Md

    The divider and chief at it again.

    April 28, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
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