Washington (CNN) – In an apparent swipe at Mitt Romney, President Barack Obama interjected his voice Monday into the back and forth between his re-election campaign and that of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, ahead of Tuesday's anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death.
Obama was asked his thoughts about the killing during a press conference at the White House with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and seemingly capitalized on comments Romney made about the al Qaeda leader during his first presidential bid.
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"As far as my personal role, what other folks would do, I just recommend that everybody take a look at people's previous statements in terms of whether they thought it was appropriate to go into Pakistan and take out bin Laden," Obama said. "I assume that people meant what they said when they said it. That's at least been my practice. I said I'd go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him and I did. If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they'd do something else, then I'd go ahead and let them explain it."
Romney's campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul called the president's remarks a "cheap political ploy."
"It's unfortunate that President Obama would prefer to use what was a good day for all Americans as a cheap political ploy and an opportunity to distort Governor Romney's strong policies on the war on terror," Saul wrote in the statement. "President Obama's feckless foreign policy has emboldened our adversaries, weakened our allies, and threatens to break faith with our military. While the Obama administration has naively stated that 'the war on terror is over,' Gov. Romney has always understood we need a comprehensive plan to deal with the myriad threats America faces."
Firing back, the Obama campaign's national press secretary Ben LaBolt took issue with Team Romney's statement praising the Republican's "strong policies on the war on terror."
"When did romney ever outline that counterterrorism policy? (Al Qaeda) wasn't mentioned a single time in his foreign policy speech," LaBolt wrote on Twitter in response to Saul's statement.
Team Obama has touted the president's decision to take out bin Laden in the past week and questioned whether Romney would have made the same decision. The campaign released a web video Friday and campaign surrogates, including Vice President Joe Biden used the president's actions last year to paint Obama as a tough commander in chief.
In his speech Thursday, Biden used Romney's own words to classify the candidate as weak on fighting terrorists. He quoted Romney in 2007, during his first White House bid, saying "It's not worth moving heaven and earth, spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person."
Days later, Romney clarified, saying "We'll move everything to get him (bin Laden)."
On the campaign trail Monday, Romney said "of course" when asked if he would have ordered the killing of bin Laden.
"Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order," Romney added at a campaign stop in New Hampshire.