Romney calls OBL politics 'disappointing'
May 1st, 2012
09:15 AM ET
10 years ago

Romney calls OBL politics 'disappointing'

(CNN) – On the one-year anniversary of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, Mitt Romney called the apparent politicization of the event "disappointing."

"I acknowledge the president's success and think he has every right to take credit for him having ordered that attack," Romney said Tuesday on CBS "This Morning." "At the same time, I think it was very disappointing for the president to try and make this a political item by suggesting that I wouldn't have ordered such a raid."

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The presumptive Republican presidential nominee reiterated that he "of course" would have ordered the attack on the compound in Pakistan that killed the former al Qaeda leader.

His response followed comments made by Obama during a press conference on Monday, during which the president took an apparent swipe at the GOP frontrunner.

"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 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."

When talking about the hunt for bin Laden in 2007, Romney said "It's not worth moving heaven and earth, spending billions just trying to catch one person." He clarified the remark days later saying "We'll move everything to get him (bin Laden)," but that has not stopped the Obama campaign from reminding voters of the previous comments and questioning whether Romney could have made the same choice.

Following the president's press conference, Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul called Obama's comments a "cheap political ploy."

However, when asked on Monday about any potential "celebration" in honor of the anniversary, Obama said "I hardly think that you've seen any excessive celebration taking place here."

Making his case during Tuesday's interview, Romney said any "thinking American" would have acted as Obama did in 2011.

"There are plenty of differences between President Obama and myself, but let's not make up ones based on 'Well, he might not have done this,'" Romney said. "I think it's taking an event that really brought America together, that was the culmination of a lot of work by a lot of people and an enormous sacrifice, some people who put their lives very much on the line. Let's not use this as a political football."

Also see:

Romney might convince me, Christie says

Obama calls out 'previous statements' about bin Laden

McDonnell's Va. ads are about his state, not himself, spokesman says

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Osama bin Laden
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Bill

    What a creep. The president should take the credit for this and tout it all he can. And what if he had failed, Mr. Romeny?
    I am sure you would not have said anything against the president. Welcome to politics Mittens – you and the GOP need to get over it. If you can not play the game, then get out.

    May 1, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  2. Robert

    It is such a cheap and dirty trick to use Mitten's own words uttered in public against him. Poor little picked on Mitt.

    May 1, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  3. Joseph

    Romney is disappointed that he said that he would not put a lot of effort into getting Bin Laden in 2007. Obama got Bin Laden. Romney is disappointed that Obama is bringing it up. Romney soon will be complaining about discussion of General Motors.

    May 1, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. American

    It was disappointing how Romney decided to attack then Senator Obama for taking a courageous stand against OBL. Romney jumped on the political bandwagon again and revealed his true intentions. Mitt should be accountable for his words.

    Then, Romney used a cheap political ploy yesterday to attack a former president. Hypocritically politicizing the issue himself & disappointing indeed, Romney.

    May 1, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  5. mctampa

    Willard has forgotten he has said in the past that he would listen to the generals and do whatever they wanted to do. He doesn't understand leadership.

    May 1, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  6. Gurgyl

    What is disappointing is stashing money I'm cayman islands, bain capital shipping jobs to china India etc, bankrupting KB toys, beforehand pulling all the money...idiot. Watch YouTube when mitt Romney came to town...enjoy. Obama12.

    May 1, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  7. Tex71

    I'll bet Romney finds it disappointing that everyone remembers how he criticized the President for going after Bin Laden...BEFORE the fatal raid! Now Romney wants us to believe he would have done the same. Not going to work, Mitt.

    May 1, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  8. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    Romney the dork has no credability on any subject along with the rest of the republican party morons. Saul should look for another job along with the vp round table because Dem landslide coming in Nov, thanks teaparty losers!!!!

    May 1, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  9. Four and The Door

    Any chance Obama will ever get around to thanking Seal Team Six for their involvement?

    May 1, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  10. Marty

    Right now we need a President to fix the economy.
    Romney 2012 !

    May 1, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  11. s

    Flip Flop again, man you must get dizzy!!

    May 1, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Romney is pathetic, disappointing, and divisive. He cannot say that he would have made the same OBL call as he claimed he would refuse to go into an ally's territory (Pakistan) to get him. Mitt's hind sight is 2020, because lying is what he does best.

    May 1, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  13. beevee

    By now everyone knows how often Mitt Romney flip-flops on issues to pander and no one believes him anymore about anything he stands for. The Bin Laden issue in not an isolated one about this guys flip-flopping nature. He would be very untrustable.

    May 1, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  14. joyce

    He once again flipped flopped. He will do now and if he is elected. Hopefully the Anerican people are not that nieve.

    May 1, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  15. Publius Novus

    But of course, Mr. Romney felt it necessary to take a cheap shot a former President Carter. Not only was Mr. Romney's comment disrespect of President Carter, it made no sense. I find it interesting that Mr. Romney thinks sending American special forces into harm's way inside a foreign country to carry out a difficult mission a no-brainer. I don't think any president woth the office treats the decision to send American troops into battle as an easy one.

    May 1, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  16. Beverly - NYC

    Nothing funnier than Republicans, the poster boys for cheap political ploys tripping over themselves to crying foul because President Obama is beating them at their own game.Mitt can't exactly compare getting OBL with saving the Olympics on the taxpayer dime or playing fast and loose with other poeples money . Guess the Repubs will be on their knees praying for a double dip recession so Mitt can pull out his business man cred. What's he going to do buy the 50 states borrow heavily on them, then walk away?

    May 1, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. Corporations R. People 2

    Poor Willard, leading from behind. Disappointed because he's getting called out for being the flip-flopper that he is. Willard's lies are going to keep getting called out. Auto industry, the individual mandate, and OBL are just a few that Willard can't run from. Willard will be even more disappointed when he gets trounced the first Tuesday of November.

    May 1, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  18. Larry L

    Romney thinks Russia is our greatest for and didn't know Czechoslvakia hasn't existed as a nation since 1993. He needs to be extremely quite about foreign policy and stick to what he knows – the "evils" of contraception.

    May 1, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  19. Bootstomper

    Romney=Kerry. They are going to hammer Romney everyday untill the election. It's been real easy for him untill now. Nobody in the GOP primaries had any money. Sorry mitt but the president has the money honey.

    May 1, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  20. charlie avila

    I only know that if obama is re-elected, the country will be downgraded again by the credit agencies and the usa will also have to fill out for bankruptcy!!....the usa will get so weak economically and militarily, and will be unable to defend israel, the allies, and itself from a threat from iran, or north corea!.

    May 1, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  21. vic , nashville ,tn

    “it’s not worth moving heaven and Earth, spending billions of dollars just to catch one person.” Romney then Now ?

    May 1, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  22. Natalie

    Why is it that when I read about this guy I just want to slap him silly? He's is incredibly out of touch with reality. What is wrong with anyone who'd actually cast a vote in his direction? Yikes!

    May 1, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  23. PJ/TX

    1. Romney, and every other Republican would have made this mission a "political football" had the mission failed.
    2. Romney has said nothing that would give me confidence that he is able to make any decision, especially the
    difficult ones.
    3. Romney has contradicated himself (known as flip-flop) so many times, I don't know what he stands for, or how
    he decides anything.
    4. Bush, Cheney, and even Rudy, used 9/11 so many times in their campaigns it became shameful.
    The Republicans are just angry and jealous, because they thought they could show President Obama as
    weak on foreign affairs. He proved them wrong.

    May 1, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  24. greg

    Mitt cant stand up to rush Limbaugh how can he stand up to anything else?Flip flop. Mr milk toast can't make a dicission untill he test how the wind is blowing.

    May 1, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |

    "At the same time, I think it was very disappointing for the president to try and make this a political item by suggesting that I wouldn't have ordered such a raid."
    Answer this for me then Willard, would you have ordered a drone strike or would you have made the tougher decision of ordering a raid? Because some of the people in the Situation Room were against the raid. So you're trying to tell me that you would have bucked your advisers? I don't think so. You pander so much, I don't think you would have had the guts or cojones to call for a raid. You're so full of it and not fit to be COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF.

    May 1, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
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