— -- Would Mitt Romney have ordered the raid that killed Osama bin Laden? President Barack Obama's reelection campaign released a new video on Friday that strongly implies that he would not have, using the presumptive Republican nominee's own words against him.
Ever since Vice President Joe Biden boiled down Obama's 2012 slogan to "bin Laden is dead, GM is alive," it has been clear that the embattled incumbent would not hesitate to use the May 2, 2011 Navy SEAL strike as a political weapon.
The video, taken from footage shot for Obama's 17-minute campaign commercial "The Road We've Traveled," opens with the message "the Commander-in-Chief gets one chance to make the right decision" and turns to former president Bill Clinton for validation. "That's one thing George Bush said that was right: The president is the decider in chief. Nobody can make that decision for you."
"Look, he knew what would happen," says Clinton. "Suppose the Navy Seals had gone in there and it hadn't been bin Laden. Suppose they had been captured or killed. The downside would have been horrible for him, but he reasoned 'I cannot in good conscience do nothing.' He took the harder and the more honorable path and the one that produced in my opinion the best result," he says, amid images including a photograph of New York City firefighters cheering the news of bin Laden's death.
The Obama campaign video wraps up with Clinton saying: "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."
Romney has taken pains to praise Obama for the raid. On Friday, Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul bristled at the video.
"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," she said.
The Obama video came one day after Vice President Joe Biden, in a speech assailing Romney on foreign policy, declared: "On this gut issue, we know what President Obama did. We can't say for certain what Governor Romney would have done."
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