The Washington Post

Obama, Romney spar over Osama


The top GOP presidential candidate talks to the media on Tuesday. (Henny Ray Abrams/AP)

Mitt Romney weighed in Monday diminishing the decision, saying, “even Jimmy Carter would have given that order.”

On the other hand, Carter’s disastrous 1980 decision to rescue American hostages in Iran — which resulted in eight servicemen killed, others injured and no hostages rescued — might have given Carter pause.

Romney on Tuesday ratcheted up the rhetoric, saying that “any thinking American” would have made that call, effectively calling the decision a no-brainer. Seems a cheap shot at Joe Biden, who has said he advised against the mission.

It’s also a bit of a shot at the mental capacities of others who expressed reservations, such as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton or former Defense secretary Robert Gates, who noted that the intelligence was hardly certain that bin Laden was even in the compound. Opinions of those in the room were very much divided.

So maybe Romney’s actually offering a compliment? Obama is at least a “thinking American?” Okay, maybe not.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

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