Republicans fired back Friday after President Obama's campaign released a web video touting the president’s role in the Usama bin Laden raid and suggesting Mitt Romney would not have green-lighted the historic mission if he were commander-in-chief.
In a statement circulated Friday evening by the Republican National Committee, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., excoriated Obama for "diminishing the memory of September 11th and the killing of Usama bin Laden by turning it into a cheap political attack ad."
Obama's Republican rival in the 2008 presidential campaign called the ad "shameless" and "pathetic."
The ad, released in the run-up to the one-year anniversary of bid Laden's death, opens with Bill Clinton explaining the risk Obama took in approving the Pakistan compound raid.
"He took the harder and the more honorable path," Clinton said.
Text in the web video then asks: "Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?"
From there, the video shows a quote from Romney saying, "It's not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person."
Obama's team is clearly making the bin Laden mission a centerpiece of the reelection campaign, as Romney all but wraps up the Republican nomination.
The president is planning to give NBC access to the Situation Room for an interview about that mission. Vice President Biden on Thursday also suggested the following Obama bumper stick: "Usama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive."
Romney's campaign reportedly called the latest web video "sad."
And McCain accused Obama of focusing on the Pakistan raid to distract from other elements of his foreign policy record.
"He turned his back on the people of Iran when they rose up to end their tyrannical, terrorist-supporting,Holocaust-denying government, giving them no assistance as they were crushed in the streets. He has repeatedly thrown our ally Israel under the bus and jeopardized our shared security interests," McCain said. "With a record like that on national security, it is no wonder why President Obama is shamelessly turning the one decision he got right into a pathetic political act of self-congratulation."