CBS News' Scott Conroy reports, Rudy Giuliani's performance as Mayor of New York on 9/11 may have given him the iconic image and national name recognition to own the terror issue among the GOP presidential field. But Mitt Romney's campaign has jumped out first in reacting to reports that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may visit Ground Zero during his scheduled visit to New York next week.
Governor Romney issued the following statement on Ahmadinejad's possible Ground Zero visit:
"Ahmadinejad's shockingly audacious request should be met with a vehement no. It's inconceivable that any consideration would be given to the idea of entertaining the leader of a state sponsor of terror at Ground Zero. This would deeply offend the sensibilities of Americans from all corners of our nation. Instead of entertaining Ahmadinejad, we should be indicting him."
Romney has taken an increasingly tough line on Iran during recent town hall appearances and has repeatedly said that the United States should make it clear that the military option is "not just on the table, it's in our hand."
The former Massachusetts governor has cited Ahmadinejad's call for Israel to be wiped off the map and Iran's alleged funding of international terrorism as reasons why Ahmadinejad should be handed an indictment under the U.N. Genocide Convention, rather than an invitation to address the General Assembly.
"The outrage of it all will hopefully incite others to have the same response," Romney spokesperson Carolyn Weyforth told CBS News.