NEW YORK — Mitt Romney said today that while President Obama deserves credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden it is “disappointing” to see the commander-in-chief using the historic event as a “political football,” reasserting that “any thinking American” would have made the same order.
“As I said at the time when the announcement was made about Osama bin Laden having been killed, I congratulated the president and the intelligence community as well of course Seal Team 6,” said Romney in an interview on “CBS This Morning. “I acknowledged the president’s success and think he had every right to take credit for him having ordered that attack.”
“At the same time I think it was very disappointing for the president to try and make this a political item by suggesting I wouldn’t have ordered such a raid, of course I would have,” said Romney, echoing remarks he made Monday in which he quipped that “even Jimmy Carter would have given that order.”
Romney spent much of the interview asserting that he would have taken the same action to launch an attack on bin Laden, who was killed a year ago today.
“Any American any thinking America would have ordered the exact same thing,” said Romney today. “But of course you give the president the credit for the fact that he did so.”
The Obama administration, in a campaign video released last week, raised questions as to whether Romney would have taken the same action had he been president in the months leading up to the bin Laden raid, a move the Romney campaign has condemned as “divisive” and “distracting.”
Pressed about the decision-making process that went into ordering the hit on bin Laden, CBS host Charlie Rose reminding the candidate that not everyone in on the decision agreed that giving the order was the right course of action, Romney remained confident.
“You can look at the different military options but clearly if you’ve identified where Osama bin Laden is the Unites States of America is going to take action to capture him or kill him and that was the right action to be taken that was the right course to be taken,” he said. “Of course the right course was to assassinate, execute Osama bin Laden and that’s precisely what happened and I congratulate the president for doing so. ”
“And I’m confident that of course I would have taken the exact same decision,” he added.
Romney, who has made the economy the chief pillar of his campaign, trumpeting his experience in the private sector daily on the trail, called the attacks on whether he would have made a similar decision to kill bin Laden “silly attacks,” before pivoting back on message.
“Of course I would have taken out Osama bin Laden, but what’s the right course for the economy,” said Romney.