Mitt Romney fell into President Obama’s trap on Osama Bin Laden, and now the president has closed the noose and made the Republican nominee appear weak on national security.
The Obama campaign set Mitt Romney up days ago by releasing a video of former President Bill Clinton praising President Obama’s decision to go get Bin Laden.
The video was perfect bait. It featured a Democrat claiming to be tough on national security, Barack Obama doing something that almost every American agrees with, and Bill Clinton. (Republicans have an odd relationship with former President Clinton. They pathologically loathe the man, yet they are irresistibly drawn to everything he says and does).
The bait was on the hook, and sure enough, Mitt Romney couldn’t resist taking it. In a rebuttal to the video Romney said, “Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order.” As the Obama campaign already knew, Jimmy Carter may have given that order, but Mitt Romney was already on record saying that he wouldn’t.
Back in 2007, Romney criticized Obama for saying that he would go in to Pakistan to get Bin Laden, “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.” Months earlier Romney also said, “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth, spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.”
Romney totally walked into the setup, and at a press conference Obama closed the deal without even mentioning him by name,
Well, let me make a couple of points. First of all, Christi, I hardly think that you’ve seen any excessive celebration taking place here. I think that people — the American people rightly remember what we as a country accomplished in bringing to justice somebody who killed over 3,000 of our citizens. And it’s a mark of the excellence of our intelligence teams and our military teams; a political process that worked. And I think for us to use that time for some reflection to give thanks to those who participated is entirely appropriate, and that’s what’s been taking place.
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.
This was a perfectly executed strategy. The Obama campaign understands that Republicans aren’t voting for Romney, but against Obama. In order for Mitt to keep the base happy, he is going to have to continue to attack the president. Most of these attacks are going to be far out of the political mainstream, and they are going to contradict Romney’s previous statements.
President Obama suckered Mitt Romney and the GOP into reminding America, repeatedly that he ordered the action to go after Bin Laden. This is a terrible issue for Romney and the GOP, but they have to talk about it because this is what their base wants. Obama was not only able to get Romney to campaign for him on his foreign policy strengths, but he was able to target Romney’s character issues, and make the Republicans look weak on national security. The president was able to accomplish this without even uttering the name, Mitt Romney.
We can expect the pattern that we saw over the last few days to continue over the entire campaign. Obama sets Romney up, and because the Republican is running strictly an anti-Obama campaign, he will continue to take the bait, and be made to look bad over and over again.
Obama is always one step ahead of his opponents, and if the Romney folks don’t wise up, they will be in for a very long campaign.