The Washington Times - October 8, 2010, 02:44PM

The Wisconsin Republican Party has accused Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold of being soft on Osama bin Laden.

The Badger State GOP has hammered Feingold over recent comments that he didn’t think the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks should be executed if captured alive.

“I would prefer to see him get the ultimate punishment in a battlefield setting,” said Feingold in an Oct. 1 interview with WKOW TV in Madison, Wis. When asked what should happen to bin Laden if U.S. troops capture the terrorist alive, the senator answered that he “deserves to be executed for his crimes, but I am a person who does not believe we should use execution as a means of our justice system.”

Wisconsin GOP Chairman Reince Priebus called Feingold’s comments “outside the mainstream.”

“Terrorism has affected each our lives and is still an all-too-real threat for Wisconsin to have a senator that makes excuses and waffles on the issue,” Priebus said.

Feingold’s views are in line with the Justice Department, which has said it would put bin Laden on trial if captured.

The senator, who is running for a fourth term in the Nov. 2 midterm elections, trails Republican challenger Ron Johnson by as many as 12 percentage points in recent polls.