AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
WASHINGTON: Osama bin Laden is dead and gone but his demise has been trotted out as a campaign issue by Barack Obama, whose new ad questions whether his Republican rival would have ordered such a risky military raid.
The video features ex-president Bill Clinton hailing Obama for a brave call to take out the Al-Qaeda leader in a Navy SEALs operation one year ago.
Aides to White House challenger Mitt Romney said it was “unbecoming” of Obama to reduce the historic moment to a campaign slogan.
“He had to decide. And that’s what you hire a president to do. You hire the president to make the calls when no one else can do it,” Clinton said in a video, which contrasted Obama with the Republican nominee.
The ad uses images of Obama and his cabinet in the White House Situation Room, and news footage including quotes from Romney during his 2008 failed presidential bid in which he appeared ambivalent about going after the elusive bin Laden.
The ad on-screen text asks: “Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?” and features a screen grab highlighting Romney’s doubts about the merits of searching for bin Laden. “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person,” Romney was quoted as saying on CNN four years ago.
Romney’s campaign argued that while Romney congratulated the president, a “desperate” Obama was seizing on the achievement to distract voters “from the failures of his administration.” Romney’s campaign attacked Obama saying he is not run on his record. Senator John McCain said. “Shame on Obama for diminishing the memory of September 11 and killing of bin Laden by turning it into a cheap political attack ad.”