Announcing the death of Osama bin Laden, President Obama explained that shortly after assuming office, he ordered CIA Director Leon Panetta to make it the Agency’s top priority to bring bin Laden to justice. Obama said the effort was the result of “many months” of hard work. But many on the right also want to give credit to President Bush — who regularly said that getting bin Laden wasn’t his priority. House Majority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) said in a statement, “I commend President Obama who has followed the vigilance of President Bush in bringing Bin Laden to justice.”
ThinkProgress asked Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) to respond to Cantor’s comment and Frank didn’t mince words:
FRANK: Well first of all, I think, let’s give discredit where it is due. For Eric Cantor to phrase it that way, to say he followed the vigilance of President Bush is a degree of key partisanship that exceeded what I even expected from Cantor. That’s just sad. [...]
If Bush had gotten Osama after Clinton had failed do you think Eric Cantor would’ve given Clinton credit and said, “Oh good Bush got Osama bin Laden, he showed the same vigilance as Bill Clinton”? No. Not even close.
“There’s been a striking absence of Republicans willing to repudiate” right-wing attacks on Obama for allegedly not being “interested in protecting America,” Frank noted, adding:
FRANK: Maybe we’ve got two outrageous lies refuted within a space of a week. First, we had the birth nonsense and now the nonsense that the President is not committed to fully defending American security.