Osama bin Laden death is hot topic in US presidential race
The capture and killing of Osama bin Laden has become a key factor in the upcoming US presidential elections.
US President Barack Obama has been criticised for his handling of the raid that killed Bin Laden and using the incident to bolster his re-election credentials.
Republicans claim Obama is turning the first anniversary of the killing into a campaign bumper sticker.
After defending his actions, Obama then jumped at the chance to portray presumed Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney as unprepared to make the kind of hard call required to send US forces on that risky mission. Without mentioning Romney by name, Obama recommended looking at people’s previous statements on the manhunt for the man behind the 9/11 terror attacks.
Obama’s re-election team has seized on a quote from Romney in 2007 when he said it was not worth moving heaven and earth to go after one person. On Monday, Romney said he “of course” would have ordered Bin Laden killed.
“I assume that people meant what they said when they said it,” Obama said at a White House news conference. “That’s been at least my practice. I said that 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.”
Obama is using today’s anniversary to help maximize a political narrative that portrays him as bold and decisive. Romney has sought to cast Obama as weak and too quick to compromise on other foreign policy matters.
Obama and his national security team will be featured in an NBC prime-time special tonight that reconstructs the operation from inside the White House Situation Room.
“I think the American people rightly remember what we as a country accomplished in bringing to justice somebody who killed over 3,000 of our citizens,” Obama said.