PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says "of course" he would have ordered Osama bin Laden killed.
President Barack Obama's re-election campaign has raised questions about Romney's willingness to assassinate the former terrorist leader and mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. Obama authorized the U.S. military raid in Pakistan that ended with bin Laden's death one year ago this week.
Speaking to reporters in New Hampshire on Monday, Romney said he would have made the same decision.
"Of course. Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order," Romney said, answering a reporter's question.
Romney has scheduled an appearance Tuesday in New York City with firefighters and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to mark the anniversary of bin Laden's death.
On Sunday, Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs said it was unclear whether Romney would have made the same decision as Obama.
"Look, just a few years ago, President Obama — then a candidate — said in a speech that if we had actionable intelligence of a high-value target in Pakistan, we'd go in and get that high value target," Gibbs said on NBC's "Meet the Press." ''Mitt Romney said that was foolish. He wouldn't do such a thing. That he wouldn't move heaven and earth to get Osama bin Laden."
Obama's campaign last week released a video featuring former President Bill Clinton that seeks to reinforce Gibbs' doubts. "Which path would mitt Romney have taken?" the video asks.
Former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu, a key Romney supporter who was chief of staff in President George H. W. Bush's White House, said Obama is wrong to take credit for bin Laden's killing. Sununu said the decision was ultimately made by a Navy admiral.
"It's wrong in taking credit and it's wrong in implying that someone else would not have made the same decision," Sununu said before Romney addressed a crowd on Portsmouth Fish Pier. "There is no way that anyone sitting in that White House would not have at least done what he did."
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