President Obama on Monday said he and his team are not guilty of “excessive celebration” when it comes to the killing of Osama bin Laden and repeated questions in one of his political ads about whether Mitt Romney would have ordered the raid that killed the mastermind of 9/11.
“I hardly think you’ve seen any excessive celebration,” Mr. Obama said during a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. “The American people rightly remember what we as a country accomplished in bringing to justice somebody who killed over 3,000 of our citizens. It’s a mark of the effectiveness of intelligence teams, of our military teams — it’s a process that worked.”
He went on to say that it is “entirely appropriate” for those who involved in the mission to use the anniversary of bin Laden’s death as a time of reflection.
Responding to a question about Mr. Romney’s comment that anyone would have authorized the Navy SEAL team raid on bin Laden’s compound — “even Jimmy Carter” — Mr. Obama told reporters to look at the “people’s previous statements.”
In 2007, Mr. Romney criticized Mr. Obama for a decision to hunt down terrorists in Pakistan.
The president’s campaign team released an ad featuring former President Bill Clinton that reminds voters of Mr. Romney’s 2007 words and argues that Mr. Romney would not have made the same decision to launch the raid, had he been president.
“I said we’d go after bin Laden, if we had a shot at him,” Mr. Obama told reporters. “That’s what we did. If there’s others who said they would do one thing and now are doing something else, I would let them explain it.”