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Special Report

New ad against Obama sparks controversy

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," May 3, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

JOHN ROBERTS, ANCHOR: We're back with our panel. We want to talk campaign 2012. In this web video that is creating an awful lot of buzz, it's from Veterans for a Strong America accusing President Obama of spiking the football over Usama bin Laden. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I can report I directed Leon Panetta...I was briefed...I met repeatedly...I determined at my direction. I called President Zardari...I as commander in chief.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: "Heroes don't spike the football." Veterans for a Strong Americans, Bill it's got kind of a familiar ring to it, kind of like Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Do you think this will have the same impact?

BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: I think what will have the impact is that the Obama campaign released its ad with Bill Clinton introducing it, taking political credit for the killing Osama and saying Mitt Romney wouldn't have ordered it.

And then the most striking sentence which the ad does attack here, in the Clinton introduction video, the downside for him, for President Obama would have been horrible. "Suppose the Navy seals had gotten in there. Suppose they had been captured or kill. The downside for him would have been horrible." Suppose the Navy SEALs had been killed and Bill Clinton's main thought is the political downside for Barack Obama would have been trouble. What about the downside for the Navy SEALs? I think it's a very revealing sentence that Bill Clinton thinks Barack Obama should take credit because he took a political risk and that is the downside, not the down side for the Navy SEALs. I think they are smart to jump on this.

ROBERTS: Has this whole thing been politicized?

KIRSTEN POWERS, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK POST: Well, I think that there's two points to it. One is the complaint from Republicans that he is spiking the football or whatever is kind of ludicrous considering "Mission Accomplished." At the same time I think from the perspective of liberals who had a problem with "Mission Accomplished," there are liberals, even Arianna Huffington, who have came out and called Obama's ad "despicable." I would be in that camp for sure. I don't think this is something you should be using to pump yourself up. People know he ordered the killing of Usama bin Laden. It's going to come up in the campaign, but the ad went a little too far.

ROBERTS: Charles, as we saw in 2004 these veterans groups can have a very very powerful voice in this campaign. Do you think we're gonna be hearing a lot more from Veterans for a Strong America? This was very slick web video that was put out there.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: This is a very strong ad. And unlike the one against John Kerry, it's not about one story or what happened against another story. This ad simply shows the words Obama has used himself. So the facts are not in dispute. And it hits at several levels. It isn't just that Obama has managed to turn a positive, something he did well, into a negative by attacking, using it as a partisan weapon which diminishes him also but diminishes the solemnity of the event that was national event and he appropriated it for himself. It's the narcissism. And that is the deeper issue here, how they quote Obama again and again using the first personal pronoun in his announcement of the event. It's all about me, "I commander in chief", "I ordered", "I did this." What about the guys out there who did it and who risked their lives?

And secondly, this idea that what was at stake was the political fortunes of the president if the lives of his own soldiers whom he ordered into battle were lost -- that is devastating. Because I think it speaks to an underlying issue of Obama of the self-regard and the narcissism that is implicit in a lot of what he does, but involved in an event of this kind where soldiers are had a risk, I think it really hits hard. And if this ad were to play around the country I think it would have a devastating attack.

ROBERTS: Well it's certainly getting a lot of hits on the internet right now. Let's change gears, let's talk about swing states. Both Mitt Romney and President Obama are in or will be in Virginia over the next couple of days. Bret Baier just did a very long piece introducing us to the Governor Bob McDonnell. They are even up in a new Quinnipiac College poll in both Ohio and Florida. And there are two people in both of those states that could potentially be on the ticket a well. Bill Kristol, is this going to be a replay of 1960 when the vice presidential running mate actually might get you something in terms of a state?

KRISTOL: But that's the last time it's happened John. And indeed, in the last five, six elections nobody's even picked anyone to try to get a state. I think Governor Romney will pick the person he thinks will help him most to convey his message nationally. It's awfully hard to pick a V.P. candidate to pick off a state.

ROBERTS: Quickly, Kirsten, we've got 30 seconds left who is the hardest to run against if you are President Obama and Joe Biden?

POWERS: Of the vice presidential candidates? I actually don't think it matters as much. It's the top of the ticket that people focus on. It's just a question of whether that person they pick comes with any baggage that they can use against them, and at this point we don't really know the answer to that.

ROBERTS: Folks, always great to see you. We'll see some of you again tomorrow. That's it for the panel, but stay tuned to see the demise of a campaign.

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