The Obama campaign released a web ad today featuring former President Bill Clinton talking about how impressive it was that Obama made the decision to give the green light to an operation that led to Osama Bin Laden’s death.
President Obama is the Commander in Chief and deserves our gratitude for his willingness to make that call.
However, Obama’s ad then questions whether Mitt Romney would have made that same call. The argument is beyond absurd. That’s like questioning whether Al Gore would have approved the operation to capture Saddam Hussein – of course he would have.
Here is the Romney campaign response:
“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. With 23 million Americans struggling for work, our national debt soaring, and household budgets being squeezed like never before, Mitt Romney is focused on strengthening America at home and abroad.”
Aside from questioning whether Romney would have made the same call, The Weekly Standard makes a great point:
This latest ad contradicts President Obama’s own pledge after he took out bin Laden. “You know, we don’t trot out this stuff as trophies,” Obama told CBS soon after the terrorist mastermind had been taken out. He added: “Americans and people around the world are glad that he’s gone. But we don’t need to spike the football.”
Part of the problem for Obama is that he can’t help giving himself credit for things that don’t only rely on him.
For example, this is an analysis about the difference in the speeches given by President Bush announcing the capture of Saddam Hussein and President Obama announcing the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Here is a synopsis of Obama’s speech on Osama bin Laden:
“Tonight, I can report . . . And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta . . . I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden . . . I met repeatedly with my national security team . . . I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action. . . . Today, at my direction . . . I’ve made clear . . . Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear . . . Tonight, I called President Zardari . . . and my team has also spoken. . .These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief . . . Finally, let me say to the families . .. I know that it has, at times, frayed. . . ..”
Compare that with the speech given by George W. Bush on December 14, 2003:
“Good afternoon. Yesterday, December the 13th, at around 8:30 p.m. Baghdad time, United States military forces captured Saddam Hussein alive.
He was found near a farmhouse outside the city of Tikrit, in a swift raid conducted without casualties. And now the former dictator of Iraq will face the justice he denied to millions. The capture of this man was crucial to the rise of a free Iraq…
And this afternoon, I have a message for the Iraqi people: You will not have to fear the rule of Saddam Hussein ever again.
All Iraqis who take the side of freedom have taken the winning side.
The goals of our coalition are the same as your goals — sovereignty for your country, dignity for your great culture, and for every Iraqi citizen, the opportunity for a better life…
The operation was carried out with skill and precision by a brave fighting force. Our servicemen and women and our coalition allies have faced many dangers in the hunt for members of the fallen regime, and in their effort to bring hope and freedom to the Iraqi people.
Their work continues, and so do the risks.
Today, on behalf of the nation, I thank the members of our Armed Forces and I congratulate ’em. I also have a message for all Americans: The capture of Saddam Hussein does not mean the end of violence in Iraq.
We still face terrorists who would rather go on killing the innocent than accept the rise of liberty in the heart of the Middle East…
Two different approaches. It will be interesting if Obama’s approach works as the political message he has made it.