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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