(CNSNews.com) – Speaking in Iowa in 2006, Sen. Barack Obama said, “I’ve had enough of using terrorism as a wedge issue in our politics.” He said the war on terrorism “isn’t supposed to crop up between September and November of even-numbered years.”
But as president, Obama and his reelection campaign have consistently raised the issue — repeatedly referring to a 2007 comment by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to suggest that Romney would not have ordered the killing of Osama bin Laden as Obama did one year ago.
On Sept. 17, 2006, Obama spoke at Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin’s annual steak fry in Indianola, Iowa.
“And let me tell you something else I’ve had enough of: I’ve had enough of using terrorism as a wedge issue in our politics,” Obama told the crowd. “I’ve had enough of that. I’ve had enough of that. You know, I – I don’t know about you, but I think the war against terrorism isn’t supposed to crop up between September and November of even numbered years, and yet that seems to be the pattern. There is a sudden burst of activity, a sudden urgency about this whole thing three months before an election every other year.”
Obama’s re-election campaign has released a video questioning what Romney would have done about bin Laden, given a comment Romney made in an interview with the Associated Press that was published on April 26, 2007.
The AP quoted Romney as saying that the U.S. would be safer by only “a small percentage” and would see “a very insignificant increase in safety” if Osama bin Laden were caught, because another terrorist would rise to power. “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth, spending billions of dollars, just trying to catch one person,” Romney said. Instead, Romney said he supported a broader strategy to defeat the Islamic jihad movement, the AP reported.
Romney, during a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Monday told a reporter that “of course,” he would have given the order to kill bin Laden. “Anybody would have made that call, even Jimmy Carter,” he said, referring to Obama’s order one year ago.
On Monday, during a White House news conference, Obama was asked about his thoughts on the first anniversary of bin Laden’s death in Pakistan. The reporter quoted Romney’s statement in the question.
“As far as my personal role and what other folks would do, I’d just recommend that everybody take a look at people’s previous statements in terms of whether they thought it was appropriate to go into Pakistan and take out bin Laden,” Obama replied. “I assume that people meant what they said when they said it. 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.”