Thanks to the President's leadership, bin Laden is gone and Al Qaeda is on the run.
Connect: The Commander-in-Chief needs to be able to make tough calls and get them right the first time.
Define: President Obama is making the tough decisions that keep us safe -- by weakening our enemies around the globe, strengthening our alliances, and focusing on 21st century threats.
Illustrate: The President brought bin Laden to justice, ended the war in Iraq, and refocused America's security assets on modern threats. He understands that America's power around the world comes from not just our military, but all the tools of American strength.
Contrast: Not only has Mitt Romney said we shouldn't go after bin Laden, he still thinks Russia is America's "number one" enemy, wants to stay in Iraq, and is pushing for war with Iran. He just doesn't get it.
Bottom line: Thanks to the President's leadership, bin Laden is gone and Al Qaeda is on the run.
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ATTACKS AND RESPONSES
- It was our extraordinary U.S. service members who carried out the operation to bring the 9/11 mastermind to justice. Why shouldn't our president mark the anniversary with our troops?
- They're actually criticizing President Obama for wanting to visit our troops during an important moment of national reflection and unity.
- The fact is that the Security Partnership Agreement between the U.S. and Afghanistan had also just concluded and both Presidents Obama and Karzai thought it was important to sign it on Afghan soil.
- This is just the latest political attempt to deny the President credit for decisively ordering the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.
- In fact, the evidence they're using confirms that Obama made the decision to order Vice Adm. Bill McRaven, who is in charge of the Joint Special Operations Command, to carry out the raid.
- That's what the Commander-in-Chief is supposed to do: make the call while the military carries out the operational details, as one would expect with any major military operation.
- There was nothing obvious or easy about the President's decision to go after bin Laden in his hideout in Pakistan. It's troubling when politicians say making these kinds of difficult calls is easy when it's one of the greatest challenges that a president must face.
- In fact, when the President said he'd go after bin Laden in Pakistan, he took political heat for it -- but he was proven right.
- National security experts and top military leaders like former Defense Sec. Gates are praising the President's call to order the operation that killed bin Laden as "gutsy" and "courageous."
- Let's remember this criticism is from Mitt Romney, who has said it wouldn't be worth the effort to catch bin Laden -- a stance that Sen. McCain condemned as naïve. But now that Romney's playing Monday morning quarterback, he's belittling the decision as an easy one.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- President Obama has shown across-the-board national security strength, with achievements that include ending the war in Iraq, killing most top Al Qaeda leaders, forcing Iran to the negotiating table, and winding down Afghanistan.
- As soon as he got into office, the President made bin Laden a top priority like he promised and oversaw a shakeup in U.S. intelligence policy that led to the discovery of bin Laden's hideout.
- The bin Laden raid is just part of President's successful efforts to reorient the fight against terrorism to focus specifically the key threat we face -- defeating Al Qaeda and weakening terrorists around the globe.
- In contrast, President Bush said capturing Bin Laden was not a focus for him and "not a top priority use of American resources." He closed the CIA unit focused on hunting bin Laden, and for years, U.S. intelligence had no longer made getting bin Laden a top priority.
- Mitt Romney has said that it wouldn't be worth the effort to catch bin Laden because he's just one person -- a stance that Sen. McCain slammed as reflecting a "naïvete" about fighting terrorism. Romney has also said he disagreed with the idea of entering Pakistan to catch bin Laden.
- According to recent polling, voters said President Obama was stronger than Romney on national security and foreign policy issues by a double-digit margin.
We develop messaging by aggregating, analyzing and distilling polling, tested messaging, and expert recommendations, and monitoring the media to identify what is and isn't working. See here for some of the experts and organizations we draw on.
Posted in - Foreign Policy - National Security