The veteran behind a web video slamming President Obama for politicizing the takeout of Usama bin Laden says that, since the video's release, a number of Navy Seals have contacted him expressing "discontent" with the president's handling of the one-year anniversary of the raid.
Veterans for a Strong America is in the process of evaluating whether they will purchase ad time for the video, which has not yet aired on television.
"What we're doing is we are throwing the penalty flag on President Obama for excessive celebration," the chairman of conservative political action group, Joel Arends, told Fox News host Megyn Kelley in a live interview from South Dakota. "What you've seen from President Obama is he's not only spiked the football, he's signed it, he threw it up in the stands with the fans."
Arends, a Bronze Medal veteran who in 2004 served as an infantry Platoon Leader in Baghdad, said the president is "doing a dance in the end zone now with Brian Williams in the Situation Room and we think it's all in an effort to help his campaign and instead he should be giving the real credit to the real heroes who made the kill of bin Laden possible."
The video, entitled, "Why Does President Obama Take So Much Credit for Killing bin Laden," strings together clips of the president's May 2011 speech announcing the mission's success: "I can report, I directed, I was briefed, I met repeatedly, I determined, at my direction."
"Heroes don't seek credit," the video states. "Heroes don't spike the football. Heroes put their life on the line."
Asking Arends whether he felt the video is a fair portrayal of the president, Megyn Kelly showed an alternative interpretation of Obama's May 2011 speech using excerpts that paint a different narrative: "A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. Tonight we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who‘ve worked tirelessly to achieve the outcome. We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country."
"Why didn't President Obama make a campaign ad that highlighted those remarks?" Arends countered. He pointed to the Obama for America web video entitled "One Chance," which features an interview with Bill Clinton commending President Obama for giving the green light when some of his advisers disagreed with him. "Why did [President Obama] need to have a campaign ad that features former President Clinton making the remarks he did?""Suppose the Navy Seals had gone in there and it hadn't been bin Laden," Clinton says in the Obama campaign video. "Suppose they'd been captured or killed. The downside would have been horrible for him."
The political thought process behind Clinton's phrase "for him" is questioned in the Veterans for a Strong America video, and Arends, who worked as a field director in the Bush 2000 campaign and was director of Iowa Veterans operations for McCain's 2008 run, called President Clinton's remarks an "incredible statement...given the fact he had multiple opportunities to go after bin Laden according to intelligence community officials."