April 30th, 2012
01:00 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney 'of course' would have given bin Laden order

Portsmouth, New Hampshire (CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney asserted firmly Monday he would have given the order to kill Osama bin Laden if he were president, despite past comments in which he questioned the value of hunting down the former al Qaeda chief.

Romney implied the president's decision - which is being hailed by Obama's re-election team as a gutsy move - was an easy call.

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Asked by a reporter if he would have given the order to kill bin Laden, Romney said "of course," and quipped: "Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order."

The candidate was shaking hands and signing autographs on a ropeline in Portsmouth, New Hampshire following an appearance with Granite State Sen. Kelly Ayotte.

In the past week top surrogates for Obama's re-election team began touting the decision – made nearly one year ago – to take out bin Laden at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. In making their arguments, many of the president's advisers have questioned whether Romney would have made the same choice. Team Obama made the argument in a web video posted Friday.

In a campaign-style speech Thursday, Biden hailed Obama as having a "backbone like a ramrod," and called into question Romney's resolve.

"We can't say for certain what Gov. Romney would have done," Biden said after hailing the president's decision.

In his speech, Biden used Romney's own words to paint the candidate as weak on fighting terrorists. Biden 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)."

- CNN's Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.

Also see:

Boehner explains jabs at Obama as 'help'

Clinton, Obama headline Virginia fund-raiser

Romney: U.S. should protect Chinese dissident

Politics of bin Laden: 'Fair game' vs. 'divisive'

Filed under: Osama bin Laden
soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    "Bush was right we will hunt you down UNTIL we find you."

    Yes, Bush was so serious about hunting down OBL that Bush dismantled the task force set up to get OBL.

    April 30, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. wallster

    Of course Romney would have given the order (as long as all the billionaire campaign financiers and the right wing machine said it was okay to say such a thing). Wait... did he mean when he was a Governor? (because everything he said then is negated by the opposite things he's says now... wait... i'm confused...)

    April 30, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. John N Florida

    'Weather Vane Willard' will say anything, DO anyone if it furthers his chances at sitting in the White House. The sad part is, the 'novelty' of his Etch-A-Sketch has gotten so old no body seems to care any more.
    It's anticipated and expected that Mitt will renege, reword, and disinform at whatever level is necessary to hide his prior commitments. You would be hard pressed to name any position that Mitt wasn't FOR before he was AGAINST it and vice versa. Bin Laden is just the latest.
    Anybody who thinks that Willard would have countermanded his Secretary of Defense needs to gather their dog up and head for OZ.

    April 30, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. John P. Tarver

    The Obama assination was a no brainer, so Obama got it right.

    April 30, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. larry

    I think he would have to consult with his wife first on this one!

    April 30, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
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