Speaking at a New York fire station, Mitt Romney commemorated the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death by visiting firefighters with former mayor Rudy Giuliani.
In a press conference held after a pizza lunch at the station (Romney had picked up a few pizzas at Joe’s in Greenwich Village before), he criticized Obama for making the death of bin Laden a campaign issue.
“I think politicizing it and trying to draw a distinction between himself and myself was an inappropriate use of the very important event that brought America together, which was the elimination of Osama bin Laden,” Romney said when asked about the President’s remarks yesterday, in which the president suggested Romney would not have given the order that resulted in bin Laden’s death, although he refrained from mentioning Romney by name.
“Of course, I would have ordered the taking out of Osama bin Laden. Of course,” Romney remarked. “This is a person who had done terrible harm to America and who represented a continuing threat to civilized people throughout the world. Had I been president of the United States, I would have made the same decision the president made, which was to remove him.”
Giuliani called it a “big mistake” for Obama to politicize bin Laden’s death. “I think he’s mischaracterizing what Mitt Romney said,” he added.
Romney maintained his criticism of Obama from the 2008 election cycle. “It was a very, if you will, fragile and flammable time in Pakistan, and I thought it was a mistake of him as a candidate for the presidency of the United States to announce that he would go in,” Romney said. “I’d rather just to say we — as I did — we reserve the right to go where we feel is appropriate to secure the interests of the United States of America and certainly to track Osama bin Laden anywhere that we found him.”