Tuesday marks the year anniversary of the Navy SEAL raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan that killed al Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden. President Obama said that the White House staff would spend the anniversary reflecting, not celebrating, however that didn't stop his campaign from releasing a video reminding Americans of his bold decision to go after the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. In it, former president Bill Clinton praises Obama's leadership, "He took the harder and the more honorable path." Text on the video then asks, "Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?" and quotes the presumed GOP presidential nominee saying during his 2008 run for president that "It's not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person."
Romney and other Republicans have accused Obama of politicizing the anniversary of bin Laden's death. Romney said he was "very disappointing for the president to try to make this a political item," and insists he would have made the same decision to go after bin Laden. Sen. John McCain, Obama's 2008 opponent, joined in on the criticism, telling Fox News: "You know the thing about heroes? They don't brag." Former New York Gov. George Pataki also weighed in, saying he was "appalled" by the Obama campaign's use of the raid.
However, U.S. News's Susan Milligan thinks Republicans should be careful criticizing Obama over bin Laden's death.
The mistake Republicans are making with their complaints about Obama using bin Laden's death for campaign purposes is that they merely draw attention to Obama's biggest foreign policy success. Accuse someone of gloating, and you just remind people of the event or accomplishment that person is touting.
She also reminded the GOP that they are the party of President George W. Bush, "who landed on an aircraft carrier with a 'Mission Accomplished' banner—when the mission was far from accomplished."
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Tierney Sneed is associate editor of U.S. News Opinion. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.