Romney: Disappointed in Obama's jabs on bin Laden

Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney

UPDATED 8:55 a.m ET

(CBS News) -- Mitt Romney hit back at President Obama Tuesday for his campaign's suggestion the presumptive Republican nominee may not have ordered elite forces to go after Osama bin Laden, saying he was "disappointed" the issue had become political.

"I think them taking credit for the right decision is entirely appropriate. I think trying to attack me on that basis is disappointing and the wrong course," Romney said in an interview with "CBS This Morning."

Romney was asked about a new ad featuring former President Bill Clinton touting Mr. Obama's decision to order the now famous SEAL Team 6 into bin Laden's compound in Pakistan a year ago.

(Scroll down to watch the full interview with Mitt and Ann Romney.)

The ad then quotes Romney from his first run for president, when he told an interviewer in 2007 that it is "not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person."

The issue has become front and center in the political campaign in the past few days leading up to Tuesday's anniversary of bin Laden's death.

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"Of course the right course was to assassinate, execute Osama bin Laden and that is precisely what happened, and I congratulate the president for doing so. And I am confident and that of course I would have taken exactly the same decision," Romney said, "any thinking American would have ordered exactly the same thing."

Romney said the Clinton ad seeks to divide Americans over an issue that should be unifying, echoing his oft-repeated campaign charge that Mr. Obama is a "divisive" leader.

Watch the entire interview with Mitt and Ann Romney:

"Let's not make the capture or killing of Osama bin Laden a politically divisive event," he said, "there are plenty of differences between President Obama and myself, but let's not make up ones."

Mr. Obama dismissed the notion that the White House was engaged in untoward celebration, calling the anniversary a time to reflect on "what we as a country accomplished in bringing to justice somebody who killed over 3,000 of our citizens."

"I hardly think you've seen any excessive celebration taking place here," the president told reporters at the White House after meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

"And it's a mark of the excellence of our intelligence teams and our military teams, a political process that worked. And I think for us to use that time for some reflection, to give thanks to those who participated, is entirely appropriate and that's what's been taking place," Mr. Obama said.

Romney was asked by host Charlie Rose about reports that some of the president's advisers opposed ordering the raid and that is what made the decision "gutsy."

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"Clearly if you have identified where Osama bin Laden is, the United States of America is going to take action. Capture him or kill him. And that was the right action to be taken. That was the right course to be taken. We haven't heard of all the different military options there were," Romney said.

Former White House chief of staff William Daley has said they were not at all certain bin Laden was actually in the compound at the time the raid was ordered. He joked recently that if a judge in Chicago were asked to approve a search warrant based on the evidence leaders in Washington had at the time, they would have been denied.

And Vice President Joe Biden in January said he recommended that Mr. Obama wait for more evidence that bin Laden was in the compound before greenlighting the mission.