Pataki: Obama should apologize for politicizing bin Laden mission

posted at 12:01 pm on May 1, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Former New York Governor George Pataki minced no words when during his interview today on Fox News when it came to Barack Obama’s ad campaign attacking Mitt Romney as a squish on Osama bin Laden.  Pataki, who dealt with the aftermath of 9/11 directly along with then-mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani, said Arianna Huffington used the right word to describe Obama’s ad — “despicable.”  He pronounced himself “appalled” at the deliberate politicization of the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, and suggested an apology from Obama would be in order:


“We still have brave men and women out there in Afghanistan and around the world fighting the war against terror and too many of them are dying,” he said. “You don’t celebrate your brilliance when it’s because we have brave young Americans out there putting their lives on the line.”

He continued, “It’s wrong. I think it should stop and I think the president should apologize for having done this.”

At the time when bin Laden was killed, he said he was “appalled” that Obama called out the Navy SEAL Team 6 because they are still out there risking their lives for America.

“We should be thanking them and praying for their safety everyday and not patting ourselves on the back as politicians and trying to use it in a campaign,” he said.

If Pataki were in Obama’s shoes, he said, “I would do what a leader is supposed to do. And that is give credit to others, in particular, give credit to those who are out there on the front line.” He went on to say that it is wrong that Obama is trying to gain a political advantage against his opponent, in his opinion.

Pataki also mildly scolded Romney for taking a swipe at Jimmy Carter yesterday in his response, but noted that it was on a different order of magnitude.  Romney offered an off-hand quip to skewer the issue, while the ad campaign launched by Obama and his team was a deliberate campaign strategy.  It’s worth noting that Pataki doesn’t really have a political dog in this fight, either.  He’s not running for any office, nor has he made himself a high-profile talking head in the presidential campaign coverage.  Presumably Pataki will back Romney, but Pataki has a lot of moderate credibility, especially in New York.  Having him call the Obama campaign “despicable” is going to sting a bit, although perhaps not as much as having Arianna Huffington say it.

Is Obama’s attempt to wrap himself in glory doing him any good?  ABC’s Amy Walter doubts it, saying that “Walmart Moms” care more about GDP than OBL:

Nowhere is this frustration more evident than among a group of 29 moms brought together by Walmart for an online discussion about the economy and the upcoming election.

These “Walmart moms” – defined as a voter with kids under 18 living at home who shops at Walmart at least once a month – are a sought-after demographic. Even more important, the women engaged in this online discussion were from the key battleground states of Florida, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The discussion was moderated by Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican polling firm, and Momentum Analysis, a Democratic firm. What they found was that these women are hurting financially. Almost every one of them had a story about how she and her family had to cut back, go without, or sacrifice.

When asked to pick their most important issue, all picked the economy or “domestic issues”. Not one picked “foreign policy issues like Iraq, Afghanistan or the war on terrorism.”

Moreover, these women expressed a deep frustration with the disconnect between what they experience in their day-to-day lives and what they see going on in Washington

“I do not think elected officials and running candidates understand my life and what matters most to me,” said Jamie from Pennsylvania. “They make too much money to understand what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck and for someone to be on disability. All they care about is their personal agendas.”

In other words, Barack Obama picked another irrelevant fight in order to take a victory lap on an issue that is at best a tertiary concern for voters, in order to distract from what really matters to them in 2012.  The pattern is become very noticeable, isn’t it?


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Comment pages: 1 2

GWB’s 2004 campaign was nothing but 9/11 and terr-rism. That was all fine and good by the right wing lunatics. But Obama dares mention OBL and all of a sudden they get their pretty pink panties in a bunch over it.

angryed on May 1, 2012 at 12:54 PM

What was unemployment in 2004?

Wagthatdog on May 1, 2012 at 2:08 PM

2004-01 5.70
2004-02 5.60
2004-03 5.80
2004-04 5.60
2004-05 5.60
2004-06 5.60
2004-07 5.50
2004-08 5.40
2004-09 5.40
2004-10 5.50

Wagthatdog on May 1, 2012 at 2:10 PM

I’d sure hate to go back to those horrible times….

Wagthatdog on May 1, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Can we please go back to the horrible 8 years that got us into this mess? The eight years when we averaged 5% unemployment.

Please?

Wagthatdog on May 1, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Hey Wag, remember when 5.4 was the dem outrage

Good times

cmsinaz on May 1, 2012 at 2:16 PM

“The special operators who have every right to “spike the football” are too professional to do so. The White House might follow their lead.” — Rumsfeld

Schadenfreude on May 1, 2012 at 2:19 PM

GWB’s 2004 campaign was nothing but 9/11 and terr-rism. That was all fine and good by the right wing lunatics. But Obama dares mention OBL and all of a sudden they get their pretty pink panties in a bunch over it.

angryed on May 1, 2012 at 12:54 PM

You compare 9/11 with Obama watching the great SEALs in action from a comfy chair?

Schadenfreude on May 1, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Azz takes full credit, for nothing, but ignores, along with media, the bloodiest month.

Schadenfreude on May 1, 2012 at 2:25 PM

I know its lame at this point, with 0bama being out of view since last night, but him going to Afghanistan to spike the football hasn’t been confirmed…yet.

cozmo on May 1, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Just found this. The weekly standard front page:

A NewsCore report on the New York Post’s website reported earlier that President Obama had arrived in Afghanistan to mark the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Read more…

And the links don’t work.

dogsoldier on May 1, 2012 at 2:31 PM

The guy against the surge won the Iraq war and the guy against enhanced interrogation takes full credit for killing OBL?

Is that what they’re going with?

Wagthatdog on May 1, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Hey Wag, remember when 5.4 was the dem outrage

Good times

cmsinaz on May 1, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Oh yeah, granny was eating dog food at 5% unemployment then.

Wagthatdog on May 1, 2012 at 2:38 PM

GWB’s 2004 campaign was nothing but 9/11 and terr-rism. That was all fine and good by the right wing lunatics. But Obama dares mention OBL and all of a sudden they get their pretty pink panties in a bunch over it.

Wilbur Post on May 1, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Terrorism was one of the predominant national priorities in 2004; polling from that year proves that fact in spades. Bush didn’t make up those poll results.

In 2012, terrorism as a national prioroty not even in the top 5.

Your Dear Leader has nothing else to run on. He’s admitting it with this OBL charade.

Want some more oats?

Del Dolemonte on May 1, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Del Dolemonte on May 1, 2012 at 12:38 PM

You obviously didn’t read the article. It says he’s at 47% which is the highest monthly level in a year. The trend is your friend and the trend is looking not so good for Mitt-tards.

But wait I forgot It’s february March April May, so it’s too early to talk about polls. Right?

Wilbur Post on May 1, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Yes I did read the article. That’s how I discovered that there was only one poll involved.

Now go sit over there on the manure spreader.

Del Dolemonte on May 1, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Look at the Situation Room photo. The command table is in the foreground. In every EOC or command center everywhere, the people running the event sit at that table, with the leader usually front and center. Those of you with crisis management experience know what I’m talking about.
But where’s the “O”? Sitting on a stool or something, in the corner – and that’s if he was even there. Do you see anyone deferring to him? Is anyone looking to see his reaction, as they would when the most powerful man in the world is standing in their midst? NO!
Am I the only one seeing this?!?!?

n0doz on May 1, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Seriously. What would he have done if he ordered Bin Laden killed? We saw what he did when he got through a month of war in Iraq…

cjw79 on May 1, 2012 at 12:51 PM

After the March 2003 Iraq incursion, Bush’s job approval stayed high until the end of that year. And even at the start of 2004, Gallup had his job approval at 60%.

http://pollingreport.com/BushJob1.htm

Or are you babbling about something completely different?

Del Dolemonte on May 1, 2012 at 2:59 PM

What a Shock-O’bama is in Afghanistan.

Del Dolemonte on May 1, 2012 at 3:01 PM

The wages of one self-congratulatory bow too many?

http://navysealsagainstobama.com

farsighted on May 1, 2012 at 3:14 PM

We’ve already begun seeing specific examples of strategic harm from the post-bin Laden leaks. In June, Pakistan arrested several individuals who allegedly provided information to the CIA in advance of the raid. One of those charged with treason was a Pakistani doctor, Shakil Afridi. This Sunday, Mr. Panetta confirmed to “60 Minutes” that Dr. Afridi had provided “very helpful” intelligence to the CIA. That may have condemned Dr. Afridi to death or life imprisonment.

http://navysealsagainstobama.com

farsighted on May 1, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Dr Afridi is now doomed. Obama and his administration are a bunch of reckless, amateurs.

Vince on May 1, 2012 at 3:28 PM

When you have CA, NY, WA, IL + a few more in the bag you really don’t have to worry too much about what you say. There is an endless supply of kool-aid in this great country and too many are still consuming it.

sdbatboy on May 1, 2012 at 4:01 PM

GWB’s 2004 campaign was nothing but 9/11 and terr-rism. That was all fine and good by the right wing lunatics. But Obama dares mention OBL and all of a sudden they get their pretty pink panties in a bunch over it.

angryed on May 1, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Even though you’re the most pathetic type of creature, someone who claimed to be conservative when in fact a lefty just so you could anonymously troll in a virtual world, I will respond to this.

Obama was right to say he wouldn’t spike the football, and I also have no problem with him running an ad here or there highlighting his “gutsy call”, but the whole point of not spiking the ball was not to repeat Bush’s disastrous “Mission Accomplished” optics nor to incite further unrest in the region because it looked like he was gloating. When will this guy ever follow through on his words?

He has repeatedly lectured us on how sensitive and careful we have to be in order not to incite the jihadists, yet this very public celebration is more provocative than any picture of a soldier with a dead suicide bomber. Aghan troops are still attacking our soldiers, but he will be spiking this football right in Afghanistan.

The ad with Clinton praising Obama was fine, the baseless attack on Romney at the end was not. Say what you want about Bush, think what you want about him, but he wouldn’t be celebrating the “anniversary” of Bin Laden’s death.

I really hope Obama uses the most neutral language as possible in this speech he is making. Bin Laden was killed on his watch, no opponent can take that away from him, but it’s not something he can use as a political weapon. He won’t hurt Romney or the GOP by doing this, this very well could backfire, but for a man who was obsessed with increasing America’s image in the world he is close to gravedancing while American troops are still in a warzone.

Daemonocracy on May 1, 2012 at 4:36 PM

GWB’s 2004 campaign was nothing but 9/11 and terr-rism. That was all fine and good by the right wing lunatics. But Obama dares mention OBL and all of a sudden they get their pretty pink panties in a bunch over it.

angryed on May 1, 2012 at 12:54 PM

This is so absurd that it is difficult to even respond…btw, if Bush even put a pic of the World Trade Center in a montage for a political ad the Democrats had a cow. They thought that was just horrid.

But Bush never bragged. He did not take credit for the work of others and he was not a grandstanding little man.

And it is also true that the economy was in a lot better shape back then…Americans overall were more interested in the war on Terror in 2004 than they are now.

Terrye on May 1, 2012 at 4:59 PM

And it is also true that the economy was in a lot better shape back then…Americans overall were more interested in the war on Terror in 2004 than they are now.

Terrye on May 1, 2012 at 4:59 PM

and the entire Democrat platform in 2004 was about “Bush’s War”, so he kind of had to make the case for why he went to war over and over.

Daemonocracy on May 1, 2012 at 5:42 PM

GWB’s 2004 campaign was nothing but 9/11 and terr-rism. That was all fine and good by the right wing lunatics. But Obama dares mention OBL and all of a sudden they get their pretty pink panties in a bunch over it.

angryed on May 1, 2012 at 12:54 PM

You didn’t just tiptoe outta that closet. You busted out of it in all your progressive glory.

jazzuscounty on May 1, 2012 at 5:54 PM

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