Media mogul Arianna Huffington called an Obama 2012 campaign ad with former President Bill Clinton despicable for questioning whether or not GOP rival Mitt Romney would have made the same call President Obama did to capture and kill Osama bin Laden.
Speaking on CBS This Morning Monday, the creator of The Huffington Post said she agreed with the Romney campaign and other critics who said the claim crossed the line.
I don't think there should be an ad about it. We should celebrate the fact that they did such a great job. It's one thing to have an NBC special from the Situation Room ... all that to me is perfectly legitimate, but to turn it into a campaign ad is one of the most despicable things you can do.
Huffington compared the video to then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's 3 a.m. Call ad during the 2008 election, in which a narrator implies the other candidates in the race lack the experience to handle a global or national emergency.
It's what makes politicians and political leaders act irrationally when it comes to matters of war, because they are so afraid to be called wimps, that they make decisions which are incredibly distracting for the country, Huffington said. I'm sure the president would not have escalated in Afghanistan if he wasn't as concerned as the Democrats are that Republicans are going to use not escalating against him in a campaign.
When CBS' Gayle King asked, aren't you supposed to tout your accomplishments in a campaign, Huffington said that wasn't what the ad does.
It quotes a snippet from Romney and uses that to imply that Romney would not have been as decisive. There's no way to know if Romney would have been as decisive [about the Abbottabad mission], Huffington responded. To actually speculate that he wouldn't be is, to me, not the way to run a campaign, on either side.
The ad in question, titled One Chance, opens with former President Bill Clinton praising Obama for have gumption to go after the al Qaeda leader in Pakistan and leads into a 2007 quote by Romney I which he said it's not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.
Which path would Mitt Romney have taken? the ad questions.
The Romney campaign quickly responded with a statement, calling it sad the Obama campaign is using 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.
Huffington, however, didn't appear to have any sour feelings from Obama's joke about her publication at the White House Correspondent's Dinner Saturday night. The Internet exec was laughing as CBS replayed the clip of Obama offering snide congratulations to HuffPo for winning a Pulitzer on behalf of David Wood's investigative series on wounded veterans, Beyond The Battlefield.
I'd be remiss if I didn't congratulate the Huffington Post on their Pulitzer Prize. You deserve it, Arianna. There's no one out there linking to the kinds of hard-hitting journalism the HuffPo is linking to every single day, Obama said to laughs and applause at the Washington Hilton.
It was really great fun to have the President of the United States congratulate you on a Pulitzer with any amount of joking, Huffington told CBS' Gayle King. I thought he was fantastic.