Republicans have spent the last few days trying an odd sort of bullying tactic, effectively telling President Obama, “If you boast about your successful mission to kill bin Laden, we’ll slam you for politicizing national security.”
Watching Obama this morning, I get the sense he doesn’t mind the fight (via Jed Lewison).
For those who can’t watch clips online, the president said:
“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.
“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. If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they’d do something else, then I’d go ahead and let them explain it.”
There’s no great mystery as to who Obama was referring to – Republicans have nominated for president Mitt Romney, who said publicly he would not launch a strike on the al Qaeda leader in Pakistan (though he’s saying the opposite now).
If Obama appears to be intimidated by the “don’t you dare politicize this!” talk, he’s hiding it well.
It’s also a reminder that when it comes to Mitt Romney’s previous commitments, the president isn’t inclined to let his rival shake the Etch A Sketch.