* Says Obama deserves credit, but...
* Bin Laden death dominates campaign trail
* Romney in New York with Giuliani
By Sam Youngman
NEW YORK, May 1 Republican Mitt Romney accused
President Barack Obama of politicizing the killing of Osama bin
Laden as the first anniversary of the daring raid dominated U.S.
Obama, a Democrat, has touted the death of the al Qaeda
leader as a crowning achievement of his national security policy
and his campaign has tried to raise doubts about whether Romney
would have made the same gutsy decision to send an elite special
forces team into Pakistan to kill bin Laden.
Romney was in New York to mark the bin Laden anniversary by
reminding Americans of its connection to the Sept. 11, 2001,
attacks that killed 3,000 people and triggered the U.S. war in
Afghanistan. He was to appear with then-New York Mayor Rudy
Giuliani at a New York fire station.
"I congratulated the president and the intelligence
community, as well as SEAL Team 6 ... So I acknowledged the
president's success and think he has every right to take credit
for commanding that attack," Romney told CBS' "This Morning."
At the same time, said Romney, "I think it was very
disappointing for the president to make this a political item by
suggesting that I wouldn't have ordered such a raid. Of course I
would have. Any American, any thinking American, would have
ordered exactly the same thing."
Obama backers were quick to point to remarks Romney made in
his 2008 race for president when then-candidate Obama said he
would go after "high-value terrorist targets" within Pakistan
with or without the approval of Pakistan's president, Romney
said he did not agree.
"I do not concur in the words of Barack Obama in a plan to
enter an ally of ours. ... I don't think those kinds of comments
help in this effort to draw more friends to our effort," Romney
told reporters on the campaign trail in August 2007.
Romney said at the time that U.S. troops "shouldn't be sent
all over the world." He called Obama's comments "ill-timed" and
Romney has come under heavy criticism from the Obama
campaign since becoming the presumptive Republican presidential
nominee last month.
Both sides are engaging in brutal campaign tactics to try to
get a leg up on the other in a race that is already extremely
close and figures to be for the next six months until the Nov. 6
election, when voters will decide whether to give Obama a second
term or install Romney as the new leader.
The Obama campaign opened a new front against the former
Massachusetts governor with a television ad to run in the
battleground states of Virginia, Ohio and Iowa.
It accuses Romney, a former private equity executive, of
backing policies that would lead to the outsourcing of American
"As a corporate CEO, he shipped American jobs to places like
Mexico and China," the ad's voiceover says "
In response, the Romney campaign accused Obama of seeking to
take attention away from his handling of the U.S. economy, still
struggling with 8.2 percent unemployment.
"With the worst job creation record in modern history and
the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression,
President Obama is trying to distract Americans from the real
issues with a series of sideshows," said Romney spokeswoman
The Obama campaign is seeking to raise doubts about how
Romney would deal with the U.S. economy, faced with polls
showing Americans believe Romney would handle economic affairs
better than the president.
Where Romney lags Obama is on personal likability, a point
that his wife, Ann Romney, attempted to address in the CBS
"He's funny," she said. "I still look at him as this, this
is the boy that I met, in high school, when he was pulling all
the jokes, and really just being crazy. Pretty crazy. So there's
a wild and crazy man inside of him ... just waiting to come
out," Ann Romney said.
Romney, seeking to bolster ties among conservatives who were
suspicious of him throughout a long primary battle, is to meet
with his last major conservative challenger, Rick Santorum, on
Friday but an endorsement is not expected.
Another rival, former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker
Newt Gingrich, is to formally withdraw from the race on