Credit Where Credit Is Due

Ed Gillespie, John McCain, Sean Hannity and other Republicans can complain all they want about President Obama taking the credit for making the decision to take down Osama bin Laden . After all, it’s what happened; as Walter Brennan used to say, “No brag, just fact.” Maybe it was a little tacky to bring Mitt Romney ‘s 2007 comment that he “would not move heaven and earth” to Osama nor would he “enter an ally of ours” to kill or capture the mass murderer, but that’s just largely a matter of taste–I think plenty of people would have made the same point for the president, vigorously and often.

Now Romney’s saying “Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order”–a nasty canard–and Ed Gillespie is saying that Obama took “something that was a unifying event for all Americans….And he’s managed to turn it into a divisive, partisan, political attack.”

Actually, a real attack would look more like this.

Who was in charge of the country’s defenses on 9/11? George Bush

Who had fair warning that Al Qaeda was planning an attack on American soil? George Bush

Who said that capturing Osama was “not a top priority use of American resources”? George Bush

Who said, about bin Laden, “I really just don’t spend that much time on him, to be honest with you”? George Bush

Who pulled troops who were hunting bin Laden out of Tora Bora and redeployed them to Iraq? George Bush

And here’s the coup de grace:

Polls show that the American people believe that President Obama would do a better job handling foreign policy and national security issues by 53 to 36 percent. At the same time, voters think Romney would do a better job handling the economy by a margin of 49 to 40.

Of course, Obama is free to conduct foreign policy and national security policy virtually unilaterally; with the economy, he has to work with an obstructionist Congress.

Think it makes a difference?

[Cross-posted at JamieMalanowski.com]

Jamie Malanowski

Jamie Malanowski is a writer and editor. He has been an editor at Time, Esquire and most recently Playboy, where he was Managing Editor.