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Romney adviser Ed Gillespie called the Obama ad “divisive,” and said he thinks most Americans will view it “as a sign of a desperate campaign.”

“I can’t envision, having served in the White House, any president having been told ‘we have him, he’s here, should we go in,’ saying, ‘no we shouldn’t,’” Mr. Gillespie said. “This is an attack on something that might have not happened. It’s a bridge too far.”

Appearing on several Sunday shows, White House Chief Counterterrorism Adviser John Brennan flatly refused to answer questions about whether the Obama video unfairly capitalizes on bin Laden’s death for political gain, while at the same time casting Mr. Romney as weak in the war on terrorism.

“I don’t do politics. I don’t do the campaign. I’m not a Democrat or a Republican. All I know is the president made the decision when he was given the opportunity to carry out that raid,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I think the American people are clearly very appreciative and supportive of that decision. We’re safer today as a result.”

Mr. Brennan said the Obama administration does not plan to release any images from the bin Laden raid. “What we don’t want to do is put out anything that is going to unnecessarily incite emotions on this issue,” Mr. Brennan said on Fox News. “We believe that it’s unnecessary to put something like that out.”