President Obama is under fire from Republicans for allegedly "politicizing" the killing of Osama bin Laden one year ago tonight (May 2, 2011, shortly after 1 a.m. in Pakistan).
To that, we say good, you go Mr. President! After all, the Republicans have been doing it for years now. And President Obama should take credit for taking out the world's most dangerous terrorist.
So was it just coincidence, not politics, that brought Mitt Romney, the presumptive 2012 GOP presidential nominee, to New York City today on "the anniversary on the elimination of Osama bin Laden" to appear with former Mayor Rudy Giuliani at a firehouse that lost 11 men in the collapse of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11?
Wait, this is the same Rudy Giuliani who, in August 2007, disagreed with Romney, who seemed to rule out a mission for U.S. troops to enter Pakistan to kill bin Laden?
At the time, Giuliani and Romney were rivals, both running for the GOP presidential nomination while Obama was seeking the Democratic nomination. Obama had pledged to strike within Pakistan, with or without the Pakistani government's approval, to take out bin Laden.
"It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an Al Qaida leadership meeting in 2005," Obama said on Aug. 1, 2007. "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets, and President Musharraf will not act, we will."
Romney disagreed with Obama’s plan, saying "I do not concur in the words of Barack Obama in a plan to enter an ally of ours... I don't think those kinds of comments help in this effort to draw more friends to our effort.” And: "I think his comments were ill-timed and ill-considered.”
But Giuliani said, “I would take that option.”
During a GOP presidential debate in Iowa on Aug. 5, 2007, Giuliani and Romney were asked to explain their views.
"Well, I believe that is an option that should remain open," said Giuliani.
Romney seemed to soften his criticism of Obama:
"It’s wrong for a person running for the president of the United States to get on TV and say, “We’re going to go into your country unilaterally.” Of course, America always maintains our option to do whatever we think is in the best interests of America. But we don’t go out and say, “Ladies and gentlemen of Germany, if ever there was a problem in your country, we didn’t think you were doing the right thing, we reserve the right to come in and get them out.”
Giuliani said today Romney was merely making the case that tracking down the al Qaeda leader shouldn’t be the singular focus of the U.S. military and intelligence community.
But Giuliani was singing a different tune less than five months ago, slamming Romney as an extreme flip-flopper.
"I ran against (Romney) in '07-'08," Giuliani said on msnbc's Morning Joe on Dec. 11, 2011. "I've never seen a guy change his positions on so many things so fast on a dime, everything."
Watch this devastating video from the Democratic National Committee:
Ed will have a lot more to say about the Romney-Giuliani meeting, plus full coverage of the president's surprise visit to Afghanistan, after the president's speech tonight on The Ed Show at 8pET on msnbc!
Also, the president's speech will be seen live on msnbc and right here on The Ed Show blog, starting at 7:30pET.