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Bin Laden raid emerges as campaign issue

A year after the Al Qaeda leader's death, President Obama marks the occasion while his surrogates trade jabs with Mitt Romney over whether the Republican would have ordered the raid.

April 30, 2012|By Michael A. Memoli, Christi Parsons and Seema Mehta, Washington Bureau

"Gov. Romney's doing what any candidate in his position [would] do — he's crying foul and hoping that he'll get sympathy from the voters," Lindsay added. "If the shoes were reversed, it would be Democrats crying foul, and they cried foul back in 2004 in similar circumstances."

Lindsay noted that Romney has been sharply critical of Obama on other areas of foreign policy, having accused him of a policy of "appeasement." Romney's campaign made the charge again in response to Obama's latest comments.

"President Obama's feckless foreign policy has emboldened our adversaries, weakened our allies, and threatens to break faith with our military. ... Gov. Romney has always understood we need a comprehensive plan to deal with the myriad threats America faces," said spokeswoman Andrea Saul.

Romney's comment pointed to a risky move that — unlike the Bin Laden raid — went disastrously wrong and backfired on a first-term president. In April 1980, President Carter ordered a military rescue of 66 U.S. hostages in Iran. The mission failed — eight Americans were killed and no hostages were rescued — and many believe it contributed heavily to Carter's reelection defeat.

michael.memoli@latimes.com

christi.parsons@latimes.com

seema.mehta@latimes.com

Memoli and Parsons reported from Washington and Mehta from Portsmouth, N.H.

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