FLASHBACK: Obama Campaign Accused Clinton Of Using Bin Laden To ‘Score Political Points’ In 2008

Apr 27, 2012 11:06am
ap obama osama ll 110502 wblog FLASHBACK: Obama Campaign Accused Clinton Of Using Bin Laden To Score Political Points In 2008

(Image Credit: AP Photos)

ABC News’ Michael Falcone reports:

The Obama campaign opened up a new line of attack on Mitt Romney Friday, suggesting that as commander-in-chief Romney might not have made the same decision to order an attack by U.S. forces to kill terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden that President Obama did.

In a new web video titled “One Chance,” the Obama team features former President Bill Clinton praising Obama for deciding to launch the strike last year. “Why path would Mitt Romney have taken?” the clip asks.

But four years ago this April, the Obama campaign criticized Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for using Osama bin Laden in a political ad.

On the eve of the 2008 Pennsylvania primary, Clinton’s campaign released a television commercial featuring an image of bin Laden and invoking President Harry S. Truman’s quote: “If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen.”

The ad never mentioned Obama by name, but it was part of the Clinton campaign’s effort to brand the Illinois Senator as inexperienced, especially in the foreign policy arena.

“Who do you think has what it takes?” the ad’s narrator says as an image of Clinton flashes on the screen. (The ad showed a brief clip of bin Laden as well as images of Pearl Harbor, the 1920′s stock market crash, Fidel Castro, the fall of the Berlin Wall). “You need to be ready for anything, especially now.”

The Obama campaign spokesman, Bill Burton, accused the Clinton team of playing “the politics of fear” just like George W. Bush.

Burton, now the head of the Democratic super PAC, Priorities USA, said at the time: “When Senator Clinton voted with President Bush to authorize the war in Iraq, she made a tragically bad decision that diverted our military from the terrorists who attacked us, and allowed Osama bin Laden to escape and regenerate his terrorist network. It’s ironic that she would borrow the President’s tactics in her own campaign and invoke bin Laden to score political points. We already have a President who plays the politics of fear, and we don’t need another.

As backup,  the Obama campaign also circulated a 2004 quote from former President Bill Clinton, saying:

“Now one of Clinton’s Laws of Politics is this: If one candidate’s trying to scare you and the other one’s trying to get you to think; if one candidate’s appealing to your fears and the other one’s appealing to your hopes, you better vote for the person who wants you to think and hope. That’s the best.”

Here’s the 2008 Hillary Clinton campaign ad featuring an image of Osama bin Laden:

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