Romney to Obama: Stop playing politics with bin Laden killing

Mitt Romney says the killing of Osama bin Laden shouldn't become 'politically divisive.' Romney says President Obama's attacks on him are "inappropriate."

(AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gestures as he speaks at the state fishing pier, Monday, April 30, 2012, in Portsmouth, N.H.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is calling on President Barack Obama to not let the killing of Osama bin Laden become a "politically divisive event."

Romney says Obama can rightfully take credit for bin Laden's downfall. But he says it was "very disappointing for the president to try to make this a political item" by suggesting he wouldn't have ordered the raid, saying, "Of course I would have."

Romney tells "CBS This Morning" Tuesday that he and Obama have plenty of issues to fight over without parting company on anti-terrorism strategy.

Without mentioning Romney's name, Obama suggested the former Massachusetts governor had waffled on whether he would have taken out bin Laden.

Romney says, "I think trying to attack me on that basis is inappropriate and the wrong course."

The president's re-election campaign has raised questions about Romney's willingness to assassinate the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. Obama authorized the U.S. military raid in Pakistan that ended with bin Laden's death after a decade in hiding one year ago this week.

Romney pushed back Monday, saying "of course" he would have made the same decision.

"Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order," Romney said, referencing the former president in his answer to a reporter's question after a campaign appearance in New Hampshire.

Romney was scheduled to appear Tuesday in New York City with firefighters and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to help mark Wednesday's anniversary of bin Laden's death. Obama and his national security team will be featured in a NBC prime-time special Wednesday night that reconstructs the operation from inside the White House Situation Room.

Obama said Monday that the anniversary is a time for reflection, not celebration.

"I hardly think you've seen any excessive celebration taking place here," he said at a White House news conference. "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."

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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