Obama broaches bin Laden death at campaign event

AUSTIN, Texas Wed May 11, 2011 11:06am EDT

President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. REUTERS/White House/Pete Souza

President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/White House/Pete Souza

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - President Barack Obama brought up the killing of Osama bin Laden at a fundraiser in Texas on Tuesday, but treaded carefully by crediting troops and intelligence officers for catching the al Qaeda leader.

"We're taking the fight to al Qaeda," the president said at the first of two events expected to raise about $2 million for the Obama Victory Fund.

"Because of the extraordinary bravery of the men and women who wear this nation's uniform and the outstanding work of our intelligence agencies, Osama bin Laden will never again threaten the United States," he said to cheers from the audience of about 750 people at a downtown Austin theater.

The White House has tried since Obama announced bin Laden's death last week not to appear too triumphant about the killing.

Some critics have charged that Obama has taken too much credit for the shooting of the world's most wanted man by an elite special forces unit.

A Democratic Party official had suggested Obama would not even bring up bin Laden in his fundraising remarks, although that seemed unlikely given the enormity of the event and the public's huge interest in the story.

"Thank you for getting bin Laden," a member of the audience shouted to Obama before he mentioned the al Qaeda leader.

Obama replied with a line he has used as part of his case for White House re-election: "It should inspire us to finish what we started."

Many Americans were relieved at the death of the mastermind of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll released after his killing found it had boosted opinions of Obama's leadership and efforts to fight terrorism.

About four in 10 Americans said their opinion of Obama improved after learning that he ordered the successful raid, the poll found.

Political analysts expect bin Laden's death to provide a fundraising boost to the Democratic president as he amasses what some say could be a $1 billion war chest for his 2012 re-election campaign.

(Editing by Laura MacInnis)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (5)
burf wrote:
It really is funny, how the Media deals with Dems, as opposed to how they deal with GOPers. On one hand you have the President, who has been pretty careful not to take any credit for the raid, and the Media keeps spewing how he needs to be careful, not to take too much credit. On the other hand, you have all the former Bush officials, all over the Media taking credit for what Obama did… and the Media doesn’t challenge them to be *careful* not to take credit. So, in effect, the Media is pushing the narrative that the Bush Administration had more to do with the capture of bin Laden, than the Obama Administration. It’s truly amazing.
And of course, when Bush declared *Mission Accomplished*, wearing a flight-suit, a codpiece, aboard an Aircraft carrier… he was cheered as a great hero. Even though 9-11 happened on his watch, after he ignored numerous warnings.
It is truly amazing what has happened to the Media… either totally bought by the Right-Wing, or just intimidated… or both.

May 10, 2011 10:19pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
KarlQ wrote:
Amazing…. His greatest success resulted from immitating and doubling down on Bush’s national security strategy: same Secretary of DoD, same dependence upon Petraeus and “surge” tactics, and on Drones, he’s trippled the number of missions. Yes, we no longer torture, we simply kill without warning from the drones without benefit of men on the ground to verify the target or offer an opportunity for surrender.

Maybe he needs to reconsider the Republican strategy for a balanced budget as practiced during the Clinton years.

I did NOT like what Bush did, bailing out Wall Street, and again this is an area where Obama has doubled down on Bush’s plan…. but this time it was a disasterous mistake. The TARP has largely been paid back, but the stimulus and added spending has driven us into the hole faster and deeper than Bush’s excessive spending did.

In the case of healthcare, he simply copied what Romney did in Mass, and suffering from the same disasterous fate.

Has anybody really seen a new idea from this guy?

He spins and lies better than Clinton, but not as personable… I guess you can say he copies in that department too!

We’ve got to throw all the bumbs out and introduce some honest people in Washington… or failing that, we need to ensure government does the least harm by mostly being deadlocked.

Sorry for being so pessimistic, but 60 years of observation has convinced me the priorities in Washington are always 1) the wealth and power of the politician (especially: re-election!); 2) constituents who donate the most and assure the most votes; 3) political party; 4) politicians relatives; 5) other constituents; and maybe, 6) the nation.

May 10, 2011 10:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
KarlQ wrote:
burf… You do remember that Bush had been an ANG jet fighter pilot, had just completed the combat phase of the 2nd Iraq Invasion (first having been in 1992 when Saddam first became #1 on the UN’s most sanctioned list), and that the sign actually was the regular bannar the aircraft carrier flies whenever it returns home from a major deployment?

Possibly President Obama could return to Chicago and revisit one of those communities he organized and “spike the ball” there?

Oh… wait. Those communities are still not “organized” or “revitalized”, are they? …too bad.

May 10, 2011 10:47pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.