Rick Santorum: Obama ‘Didn’t Get Osama Bin Laden!’

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"Rick Santorum: Obama ‘Didn’t Get Osama Bin Laden!’"

Since President Obama’s surprise announcement Sunday night that American forces had killed Osama bin Laden, conservatives and Bush loyalists have been trying to claim some of the glory and redeem the discredited torture policies of the Bush administration.

Potential GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum took this line of attack to its logical conclusions today on conservative radio host Laura Ingraham’s show, saying “9/11 families” should be “furious” with Obama for claiming any credit for the successful Bin Laden raid:

SANTORUM: 9/11 families and everybody else in America should be furious at this president that he’s walking abound taking credit for, you know, getting Osama bin Laden. He didn’t get Osama bin Laden! … The president of the United States simply said — courageous act, give him credit for saying yes — but that’s all he did, is say yes. He didn’t do the hard work. The people he’s going after did the hard work. And that is an outrage.

Listen here:

Santorum is referrering to his claim that Attorney General Eric Holder is “going after” CIA agents who used enhanced interrogation tactics under President Bush. But perhaps Santorum is too fixated on his Google problem to remember that Obama said two years ago that he wouldn’t prosecute CIA agents who engaged in torture. As ThinkProgress has noted, there is no evidence that enhanced interrogation techniques contributed to catching Bin Laden.

Moreover, as Michael Hirsch writes today in the National Journal, President Obama was sucessful in catching Bin Laden precisely because he broke with Bush’s terror policies. The conservative “assessment couldn’t be further from the truth,” Hirsch writes. “Behind Obama’s takedown of the Qaida leader this week lies a profound discontinuity between administrations — a major strategic shift in how to deal with terrorists,” from Bush’s bombastic and overly expansive “war on terror,” to Obama’s “covert, laserlike focus on al-Qaida and its spawn.”

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