Romney: Obama is 'politicizing' bin Laden death
May 1st, 2012
05:44 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney: Obama is 'politicizing' bin Laden death

New York (CNN) – While standing outside Engine Company 24, which lost 11 firefighters on September 11, Mitt Romney reiterated Tuesday he would also have ordered the mission to kill Osama bin Laden but criticized President Barack Obama for politicizing his role on its one-year anniversary.

"This is a person who had done terrible harm to America and who represented a continuing threat to civilized people throughout the world, and had I been president of the United States, I would have made the same decision the president made which was to remove him," Romney said.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

Romney's comments came before Obama's surprise arrival in Afghanistan for a visit to sign an agreement between the two governments and greet troops in theater.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee had marked the anniversary of the top al Qaeda leader's death by appearing with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. The two delivered six large pizza pies to the firefighters at the New York fire station.

After eating inside and taking pictures in front of fire trucks, Romney and Giuliani – the first time the pair has appeared together since they ran against each other in 2008 – spoke briefly and took questions from reporters.

Romney was asked to explain a statement he made in 2007 in which he criticized candidate Obama who at the time said he would be willing to go into Pakistan to hunt down bin Laden. He later clarified his point, but the president's re-election team has hammered on Romney for it.

The businessman and former Massachusetts governor said his position was the same as Vice President Joe Biden, also a candidate in the last presidential cycle.

"There are many people who believed as I did that it was naïve on the part of the president, at the time as a candidate, to say he would go into Pakistan," said Romney. "It was a very – if you will – a fragile and flammable time in Pakistan and I thought it was a mistake of him as a candidate for the presidency of the United States to announce that he would go in."

Romney gave Obama credit for his role in bringing down the top al Qaeda leader, who was in Pakistan, but derided the president for making it a political issue for personal gain.

"I think politicizing it and trying to draw a distinction between himself and myself was an inappropriate use of the very important event that brought America together, which was the elimination of Osama bin Laden."

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 • President Obama
soundoff (165 Responses)
  1. Kay

    Eat your heart out, Mitt. A good guess what you and Gestapo Ruddy can do with your pizzas.

    May 2, 2012 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  2. Jeff in Virginia

    Are we to believe Romney now, and not Romney from 2007? Considering his multiple positions this and on many other issues, one might call him a flip-flopper.

    May 2, 2012 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  3. Debasser


    This wasn't just one decision that was made to kill Osama. It was a multitude of decisions, like Obama choosing to increase troops in Afghanistan like we should have in the first place (instead of Iraq). This wasn't just a single thing that came up like "hey, want to kill Osama?"

    May 2, 2012 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  4. Flipper Rmoney Failure Ahead

    Rmoney, like most the rest of his GOBP cult, takes hypocrisy to greater and greater heights each day. Having ignored their own relentless politicization of 9/11 and the "global war on terror" Rmoney and his GOBP cult now get all poutraged when a Dem (a) mentions something a Dem accomplished and/or (b) points out any of the GOBP cult's numerous failures. To the GOBP cult's linguistic terrorists, making accurate statement about oneself or ones opponent now constitutes "politicization" of whatever issue was involved. This is your deficient rightwing, fear-fueled hive mind at work. These people belong on the trash heap of history, along with their failed neocon "cop of the world" fantasies.

    May 2, 2012 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  5. ace1

    It is called politics. Of course he will politilize it as he should, it was a great accomplishment and he should take credit for it. Give me a break that the right is attempting to make a big deal of this. What clowns.

    May 2, 2012 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  6. 40 acres

    >>>While standing outside Engine Company 24, which lost 11 firefighters on September 11, Mitt Romney reiterated Tuesday he would also have ordered the mission to kill Osama bin Laden but criticized President Barack Obama for politicizing his role on its one-year anniversary. <<<

    SNL couldn't write better stuff than this. And I'll bet he didn't even realize the hypocrisy.

    May 2, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  7. Corporal Brandon US Marine Corps

    Well Willard at least President Obama is a man of his word and said what he would do up front before his election in 2008 if the chance materialized to take out Bin Laden even if it mean going into Pakistan. Let us not forget that he also said that killing or capturing bin Laden would be a top priority during an Obama presidency. That is another promise he kept. He has not "flip flopped" on every statement that has came out of his mouth such as yourself. Talk about politicizing the death of Bin Laden, why were you with Rudy Giuliani (Mr. Verb Noun 911) in New York handing out pizzas on the anniversary of 911? In case you forgot it was then President George Bush a Republican like yourself who said he did not know where Bin Laden was and frankly he was not very concerned about him. You want to talk about spiking a football? Your trying to spike the football from the wrong end zone. Typical Republican.

    May 2, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  8. wormey

    And Giuliani's response to every question was "9 11!"

    May 2, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  9. ThisSerious

    Its funny how during the Republican Primary debates. Romney and all the GOP contenders were very critical and politicized Obama's foreign policy. First off, they were not truthful about Obama's policies, in regards to US continued strong relationship with Israel, US’s strong support role with NATO and the Arab League in regards to Libya, dismantling Al Qaeda by taking out dozens of the top Al Qaeda Leaders, US crippling sanctions on Iran to prevent a nuclear armed Iran. And ending the war in Iraq. Second off GOP loves to call him an "Appeaser", "He Apologizes for America", "He's weak". Third off Bush, highlighted is foreign policy strength in the context of 9-11 in 2004 against Al Gore! So after all that you still don't want Obama to put on his resume, "Displayed strong leadership, vision, and direction to eliminate Bin Laden"! Hello!

    May 2, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  10. Corey

    More and more the republican party is kissing me. They are turning into a party of finger pointers and cry babies. If a republican would have been in office and called for osama to be killed, they never would have let the democrats forget it. To prove my point remember the bush and suddam how they used that to win a re-election. Republicans get over it before you lose more sensible minded citizens who have a mind of their own and know how to use it.

    May 2, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  11. The REAL Truth.. (not the imposter)

    Maybe Mittens needs to come up with some realistic platform.. 'cus the "Beat up Obama" campaign is more than a little stale.

    May 2, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  12. FLIndependent

    Mttens needs to move over – President Obama will ALWAYS be a step ahead of him and this will make Mittens flip-flop non-stop. It's going to be fun to watch. I heard the other day that one of Mitt's advisors said that President Obama's bailing out the car industry was a SUCCESS because the President did what Mitt would have done – what a crock. The funny thing though is that they acknowledge that that too was a SUCCESS. As the campaign goes on, if one listens closely to what Mittens and his surrogates say, we'll find that Mittens agrees with Obama on most everything!!

    May 2, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. FLIndependent

    "If we are going to hold people to what they said in the 2008 election then Oboma has lost all credibility.He has in no way done anything he said besides pushing a health care law behind closed doors in the middle of the night. Oh yeah we have to pass it before we can see whats in it,remember!"
    You obviously have NO idea on what candidate Obama promised. He has accomplished a great deal of his promises, some were thwarted by the obstructionists, others are still in pending mode. This is the only president in recent times that I remember that is actually STICKING to his promise list. That is more reason why he needs a second term to complete what he's started and continue to move this country forward.

    May 2, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  14. FLIndependent

    "Everyone knew if the mission failed, President would be blamed and he would have not even contested elections. In this extremely difficult scenario, President did not put himself first, he had confidence in our intelligence team, our courageous seals and ordered the raid. If there is any decision anyone has to be proud of, then this ranks very high."
    Exactly right. This President actually showed the highest regard in our military/Seals and their capabilities by making the decision that he did. Seems he had more confidence in them than the others, so for anyone to claim President Obama isn't giving credit where it's due to our military is complete hogwash!

    May 2, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. solsenz

    When you're talking about facts,it's not politicizing. Unlike dressing up like an airman claiming "mission accomplished" when the mission is not accomplished and you are NOT an airman! Sour grapes-so much for tough talking Republicans who weren't able to get their man!

    May 2, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7