(CNN) — Sen. John McCain on Friday evening sharply rebuked a web video produced by President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign that questioned whether presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney would have ordered the raid that culminated in the killing of terrorism mastermind Osama bin Laden.
“Shame on Barack Obama for diminishing the memory of September 11th and the killing of Osama bin Laden by turning it into a cheap political attack ad,” McCain said in a statement distributed by the Republican National Committee.
“This is the same president who said, after bin Laden was dead, that we shouldn’t ‘spike the ball’ after the touchdown. And now Barack Obama is not only trying to score political points by invoking Osama bin Laden, he is doing a shameless end-zone dance to help himself get reelected,” he continued.
By Gregory Wallace
The video was posted Friday morning, just days ahead of the one-year anniversary of the operation authorized by Obama.
McCain, who is a top surrogate for Romney and was the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, said Obama deserves credit for ordering the operation, but characterizes the ad’s political motives as “hypocritical.”
The campaign video features former President Bill Clinton praising Obama for authorizing the raid and explaining the gravity of that choice. “The president is the decider-in-chief. Nobody can make that decision for you,” Clinton said.
Text on the screen asks, “Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?” It further quotes the former Massachusetts governor saying during his 2008 presidential bid, “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth, spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.”
Romney later backpedaled from the comment, which he made to The Associated Press, saying at a presidential debate, “We’ll move everything to get him.”
Hours before McCain, a spokeswoman for Romney’s campaign likewise criticized the video.
“The killing of Osama bin Laden was a momentous day for all Americans and the world, and Governor Romney congratulated the military, our intelligence agencies, and the president. It’s now sad to see the Obama campaign seek to use an event that unified our country to once again divide us, in order to try to distract voters’ attention from the failures of his administration,” press secretary Andrea Saul said.