9:30 am Apr. 30, 2012
The Obama administration continued its belated victory lap over the killing of Osama bin Laden on Sunday morning, with its top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, making the rounds to argue that the country is safer than it was four years ago.
Appearing on three different shows, Brennan mostly made the case in nonpolitical terms, and unlike the Obama campaign, avoided discussing whether Mitt Romney would have made the same decision to authorize the strike on bin Laden's compound.
"It was a tough decision," Brennan said on CNN's "State of the Union". "As we know, the evidence was not there as far as an iron-clad case. A lot of it was circumstantial."
"I just know that President Obama, when the time came for him to make a momentous decision like that, he took the action that did bring bin Laden to justice," Brennan said.
On "Meet the Press," former Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs made the case in more explicitly campaigny terms.
"I don't think it's clear that he would," Gibbs said, when asked if Romney would have made the same decision.
"Again, he criticized Barack Obama a few years ago when Barack Obama said, 'If we have actionable intelligence about a high value target,' and let's be clear. Nobody was bigger, nobody was a more high value target than Osama bin Laden."
Asked if he wasn't politicizing the September 11 attacks in much the same way Democrats criticized President George W. Bush for using the attacks as part of his 2004 re-election, Gibbs said it was "the politics of brave decision-making."
The national security talk eclipsed the return of Hilary Rosen, the unofficially Obama-affiliated Knickerbocker SKD strategist who put Democrats on the defensive several weeks ago when she said Ann Romney hadn't worked a day in her life.
"Hillary Rosen, here you are, this issue is not going away, and neither are you," was host David Gregory's introduction for her on the roundtable segment.
"Neither am I," she said, and after Gregory played the clip of her remarks, she issued another apology of sorts.
"This debate took a wrong turn and I'm sorry if I was the cause of that," she said.
Rosen was seated next to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, who the Romney campaign had used as a surrogate to attack Rosen during the initial flap.
But neither got much of a chance to speak, after Republican strategist Alex Castellanos interrupted MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, who were participating in a roundtable conversation, to dispute whether women actually make less in pay for equal work.
"Not exactly," he said.
"Women don't make less than men?" she replied.
"Actually, if you start looking at the numbers, Rachel, there are lots of reasons for that," he said, which gave way to a lot of crosstalk in which Maddow said it wasn't a "math is hard type of conversation," and added that it was "weird" he kept interrupting her, before using it to make an impromptu point."
"The interruption is important, I think, because now we know, at least from both of your perspectives, that women are not faring worse than men in the economy," she said. "That women aren't getting paid less for equal work. I think that's a serious difference in factual understanding of the world."
Maddow used McMorris Rodgers' vote against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act as an example of the Romney campaign using women as surrogates to try and obscure policies that didn't benefit women, saying it's "about policy and whether or not you want to fix some of the structural discrimination that women really do face that Republicans don't believe is happening."
"It's policy," Castellanos replied. "And I love how passionate you are. I wish you are as right about what you're saying as you are passionate about it. I really do."
"That's really condescending," she replied.