Obama video: Would Romney have made same call on bin Laden?
April 27th, 2012
08:47 AM ET
2 years ago

Obama video: Would Romney have made same call on bin Laden?

Washington (CNN) – Former President Bill Clinton praised President Barack Obama's decision making process in last year's military raid that killed Osama bin Laden in a new web video out Friday by Obama's re-election team. The campaign video also questions whether Republican challenger Mitt Romney would have made the same call as the president.

"The president is the decider in chief. Nobody can make that decision for you," Clinton says in the web video. "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."

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The video then asks "which path would Mitt Romney have taken" and includes a quote from a Reuters article from August 4, 2007, which said "Mitt Romney criticized Barack Obama for vowing to strike al-Qaeda targets inside Pakistan if necessary."

The video also highlights comments Romney made on April 27, 2007, to the Associated Press, during his first run for the White House, when he said "it's not worth moving heaven and earth, spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person." A clip of CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer referring to the quote is included in the video.

Days later, in an MSNBC presidential debate on May 3, 2007, Romney was asked by the moderator "can we move heaven and earth to do it?" He responded "we'll move everything to get him."

During his second run for the White House, Romney has credited Obama for launching the raid on bin Laden, while being critical of many aspects of the president's foreign policy.

"To his credit, the president ordered the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden," Romney said last June, at his campaign kick off speech.

While campaigning in Iowa in December, Romney said he was "glad he [Obama] ordered the killing of Osama bin Laden."

The latest Obama video ends with Clinton reflecting on the difficult decisions a president must make, saying of Obama: "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."

The video's release comes one day after Vice President Joe Biden seemed to question whether Romney would have ordered the raid, saying "We can't say for certain what Governor Romney would have done."

Biden made the comments in campaign speech in New York City that centered on foreign policy.

The Romney campaign reacted to the speech and the video on Friday.

"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," said Romney Press Secretary Andrea Saul.

Tuesday is the first anniversary of the raid, in which the al Qaeda leader was killed by U.S. Navy Seals during a raid in Pakistan.

While the economy continues to dominate the race for the White House, the president's handling of foreign policy, from dealing with the nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea, to the war in Afghanistan and the Arab-Israeli peace process, to last year's fighting in Libya, came under attack from the Republican presidential candidates during the battle for the GOP nomination.

National polls indicate that a plurality of Americans approve of how Obama's handling the country's foreign policy and according to recent CNN/ORC International poll, by a 16-point margin, the public said that Obama would handle the job of commander in chief better than Romney.

– CNN's Gabriella Schwarz contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Osama bin Laden • President Obama
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. 23 from Texas

    I think any random bum on the street would have made the same call BO... nothing courageous about it. It was bush policies that got us the intel that showed us where he was anyways. Yes pres made the right call, but who wouldn’t have?!?! lol

    April 27, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. Four and The Door

    Maybe Obama should release a full length motion picture detailing the one success Seal Team Six gave him during his presidency. Okay, I'm just trying to help. We have got to think of ways to keep the focus away from THE ECONOMY. (Maybe another movie about George W. Bush?)

    Romney 2012 and as many Republican Senators as we can get seated.

    April 27, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  3. Woody

    I can't stand that fool Mitt Romney. He is such a phony! Here's a man who is too chicken to even run on his own record much less go out and take down a murderous criminal who cost thousands of Americans their lives.

    April 27, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    LIP

    The question for Bill is not what Romney would do...that is speculation and idle chit chat ......
    -------------------–
    Mitt Romney is the one running for POTUS, not Bill Clinton.
    People should ask those questions of the candidates.

    April 27, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. Willis

    Print it & I will sign off 4-ever. Thanks & God Bless The USA!!!!!!

    April 27, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  6. Average American

    Oh, I hate when Romney's real words are used against him. Ha, Ha, Ha!

    April 27, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Lizzie

    Rudy NYC, so you would like to hear from Pres.Obama not from his surrogates, his stand on class warfare, the debt, the economy, uniting the country, etc.etc.
    --------------
    He has already spoken on all of those issues, especially class warfare. He gladly accepted the mantle of being the champion for fairness and the middle class. Please, try to keep up.

    April 27, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  8. Average American

    Osama bin Laden dead, GM alive = reelection. Obama/Biden 2012

    April 27, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  9. Average American

    Squire James, not as much of a fish in a barrel as it was when Bush bungled it in Tora Bora. If you can't be totally thrilled about our president's actions to kill the mastermind behind 9-11, you are no patriot!

    April 27, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  10. Bill Clinton

    Hmmm, pot calling the kettle black? President Clinton was the one who opted for missile strikes instead of ground forces when he first went up against Al Qaeda back in 98. Suffice to say, Bin Laden got away that time.

    April 27, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  11. once upon a horse

    interesting question......I am betting though if he had then the right wing would have given him credit for it and not President Bush. Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh would have been beside themselves and Mitt would be the next greatest thing since sliced bread. President Obama makes that call and they can't bring themselves to give him ANY credit for it. Just saying......

    April 27, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  12. mikle

    He is the worst president ever.

    April 27, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  13. Darrell

    Larry Motsinger...When I was in grade school, the teacher told me if you move from a negative position to a positive position, you are moving forward, as well as making things better.

    Take for example, Obama moving the US economy from a negative growth position, based on GWB and Republican policies, to a positive growth economy, like the 2.2 GDP rate reported today. In short, Obama helped make the US economy better. Better than the negative growth experienced under a Republican administration.

    By the way, would you like the name of my grade school teacher? I am sure she can help you better understand Positive vs. Negative.

    April 27, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  14. Kenny K

    @tykt

    Obama was a "community organizer before becoming President."
    ________________________________________________________________
    Do some research before typing. Where and was Omama a community orgaizer? I am sure you have heard that he was a lawyer, lecturer, state senator, and US senator sometime in his life.

    April 27, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  15. Dr. Knowitall

    From all that has been said about this, Obama didn't even make that call. He was forced into it by other memebers of his administration.

    April 27, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  16. Susan

    Way to distract us from the bad economy and the trillions of dollars in debt you put us in. No more Obama!

    April 27, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  17. Dr. Knowitall

    "it's likely Romney would have made the same call ... but then he would have been branded a war criminal by the media"

    The NYTs Headline for that day "Romney Invades Pakistan !"

    April 27, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  18. Anthony

    If Romney were president, we would still be focused on Iraq, and the opportunity to get bin Laden, who was in Pakistan, probably would not have arisen. The reason is that Republicans want to go after Iran. Republicans want to put troops on both sides of Iran.

    April 27, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  19. Malory Archer

    Squire James, maybe if little georgie had LOOKED for bin Laden instead of stating ON CAMERA just a few months after 9/11 that he didn't know where bin Laden was and he wasn't really concerned about him, just maybe he would have had better luck taking him down. But no, he just left another mess for President Obama to clean up.

    April 27, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  20. GI Joe

    He'd have to wake up Ann and ask her..................................

    April 27, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  21. 1twinsfan

    Romeny would have asked for analytic data, spreadsheets, cost analysis for having overseas forces due the deed Vs. seal team 6 and then would have decided to just fire bin Laden.

    Obama 2012

    April 27, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  22. GI Joe

    Romney doesn't even know which pair of jeans to wear.

    Wait.....

    He bought only one pair of mom jeans to show us he's like us?

    April 27, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. judy

    mitt has no guts he would never had made the call unless he had the support of congress. He cant decide what to wear unless Ann tells him. I see they are making fun of our president and saying he is cool but not tending the store, Sour grapes all you repos . He is cool and smart and romney is so boring and dull. Hope romney goes on snl love to see that show. What a dork. Obama 2012

    April 27, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
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