It’s been difficult for the Republicans to attack President Obama on foreign policy, particularly seeing that he oversaw and ordered the operation that ended up killing Osama bin Laden. But the Republicans have a strategy on that: pretend Obama had nothing to do with it. Rick Santorum says repeatedly that Obama had no role in getting bin Laden. “The president doesn’t deserve credit” for getting bin Laden, Santorum said last week. “The people who deserve credit for that were the military whose mission it was to find them,” he said.
Rick Perry has picked up on this too. CNN reports that after Perry called Obama’s foreign policy an “abject failure,” a student pointed out that the President should get some recognition for getting bin Laden. But instead of agreeing with this obvious conclusion, Perry took the Santorum route — denial:
“I would suggest to you that it was Navy SEALs and our intelligence community that was the reason bin Laden was taken out, not the President of the United States,” he said.
Asked again by CNN if he believed that the president should be given some share of the credit for bin Laden’s death, Perry answered: “I’m almost positive it was Navy SEALs.”
Of course Perry and Santorum are correct; without the Navy SEAL team and their skills and professionalism, bin Laden might still be alive today. And Obama said so himself. “These Americans deserve credit for one of the greatest intelligence and military operations in our nation’s history,” he said. But of course it goes without saying that the raid would not have taken place if not for Obama’s push to “redouble” efforts to find bin Laden and his order to raid the al Qaeda leader’s compound in Pakistan, a decision Robert Gates said was “one of the most courageous calls I’ve ever seen a president make.”
But Perry and co. will most likely still carry on living in this denial. After all, despite all of the turmoil the United States and the world have faced throughout history, the Texas governor believes “the world has never been as dangerous as it is today” because of Obama.