Barack Obama to use Bin Laden raid in election campaign

 

One year after he authorised an extraordinary mission inside Pakistan by an elite Navy SEALs unit to kill Osama bin Laden, President Barack Obama is not hesitating to put it front and centre in his gathering re-election effort, while implying that his presumptive challenger in 2012, Mitt Romney, might not have been so gutsy.

The all-out effort to remind Americans of what will widely be seen as Mr Obama’s signal foreign policy success since taking office has included the release of a 7-minute video about the operation partly narrated by former President Bill Clinton – and has raised the ire of Republicans who accuse him of milking it.

“This is one of the reasons President Obama has become one of the most divisive presidents in American history,” complained senior Romney campaign adviser Ed Gillespie. “He’s managed to turn it into a divisive, partisan political attack. I think most Americans will see it as a sign of a desperate campaign.”

Coy the Obama campaign is not.  In addition to the video with its solemn musical score, the NBC news network was this week granted an unprecedented interview with the president in the White House Situation Room where he and his national security team, including Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, monitored the raid on the bin Laden compound in Abbottabad as it unfolded.

The NBC interview with anchor Brian Williams, to be broadcast on the network tomorrow evening, includes reflections on the moment when a now famous photograph was taken of the team enthralled with monitors in the room at the moment that one of the SEAL helicopters crashed with mechanical failure. 

“There’s silence at this point inside the room,” the president tells Mr Williams, who also speaks to Mrs Clinton, seen in the picture with her hand over her mouth. “What it conjures up is all of the emotions that were running through my and every other person in that small group,” she says. “It was just an extraordinary experience.”

The campaign video makes reference to a comment made by Mr Romney when he was seeking the Republican nomination in 2007. Of the hunt to kill bin Laden, he says, “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth, spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.”

Senator John McCain, the eventual Republican nominee four years ago and a war veteran, has also lashed Mr Obama over his celebrating the killing of bin Laden now, accusing him of “doing a shameless end-zone dance to help himself get re-elected”.

But the Obama campaign has shot back. “Osama bin Laden no longer walks on this planet today because of that brave decision and the brave actions by the men and women in our military,” Obama advisor and former White House spokesman Robert Gibbs asserted.  “Quite frankly, Mitt Romney said it was a foolish thing to do a few years ago.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Coordinator

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

Embedded Linux Engineer

£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...

Senior Hardware Design Engineer - Broadcast

£50000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Working for a m...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz