Obama strategist David Axelrod is calling out Karl Rove for heavily distorting a quote by President Clinton to minimize the importance of the White House's decision to order the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.
In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, Rove dismissed the Bin Laden mission as a no-brainer.
"As for the killing of Osama bin Laden, Mr. Obama did what virtually any commander in chief would have done in the same situation," he wrote. "Even President Bill Clinton says in the film 'that’s the call I would have made.' For this to be portrayed as the epic achievement of the first term tells you how bare the White House cupboards are."
But Rove's claim was a serious mischaracterization of Clinton's quote, in which he said "I hope that's the call I would have made," referring specifically to the lack of intelligence available at the time and the serious risks involved in sending special forces to Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Axelrod responded to the op-ed on Twitter with a series of tweets combined below.
"Rove, in WSJ today, blatantly distorts Clinton from the 'The Road We Traveled' to try and belittle Obama’s gutsy call on Bin laden," he wrote. "Rove quoting Clinton: "Even President Bill Clinton says in the film 'that's the call I would have made.' Actual Clinton quote: “WHEN I SAW WHAT HAD HAPPENED, I THOUGHT TO MYSELF, I HOPE that is the call I would have made. More Clinton from interview."That decision showed why he (Obama) has been effective in a disciplined, determined, deliberate way...in reducing the terrorist threat to Americans on our own soil.”
He concluded: "If these are the games Rove is going to play in his column, imagine what we can expect in his Crossroads ads!"
Democrats have put the Bin Laden mission front and center in Obama's re-election campaign, giving it very prominent mention in campaign documentary Rove cited. But Republicans have looked for ways to chip away at Obama's credit for months. In December, Mitt Romney said the mission was something "any president would have done," prompting a tough Democratic response as well. Rick Santorum went so far as to attack Obama for revealing to Americans that the mission had occurred at all.