Posted at 12:56 PM ET, 04/30/2012

Romney: ‘Even Jimmy Carter’ would have ordered Osama bin Laden killing

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney said Monday that he would have given the order to kill al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Mitt Romney speaks in Portsmouth, N.H., on Monday, April 30. (Jim Cole - AP)

Asked by reporters following a campaign event here whether he would have given the order to go after bin Laden, Romney suggested that any president would have made the same decision as President Obama.

“Of course. Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order,” Romney said, referring to the former Democratic president known for his reluctance to use military force.

On Sunday, former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs insinuated in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Romney might not have given the order to kill bin Laden, mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Asked if Romney would have made the same decision as Obama, Gibbs said: “I don’t think it’s clear that he would.”

Other Obama supporters have made similar comments.

“Again, he criticized Barack Obama a few years ago when Barack Obama said, ‘If we have actionable intelligence about a high value target,’ and let’s be clear. Nobody was bigger, nobody was a more high value target than Osama bin Laden,” Gibbs said “Meet the Press.”

Gibbs added, “Look, just a few years ago, President Obama – then a candidate – said in a speech that if we had actionable intelligence of a high-value target in Pakistan, we’d go in and get that high value target. Mitt Romney said that was foolish. He wouldn’t do such a thing. That he wouldn’t move heaven and earth to get Osama bin Laden.”

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By  |  12:56 PM ET, 04/30/2012

Tags:  Mitt Romney, Osama bin Laden, Jimmy Carter

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