I realized instantly that the quote used in the ad was an out-of-context snippet, but I didn't realize how bad it was until Matt Lewis at Townhall outed it, as part of some reporting by the late Dean Barnet, back in 2007. The ad used this snippet, "It's not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person."
Here's the whole thing:
Our own Matt Lewis, showing the innate industriousness that sets Townhall contributors apart, contacted the Romney campaign and got the full text of the interview. Surprise, surprise- turns out the AP did miss some context. The exchange between Romney and reporter Liz Sidoti went as follows:
LIZ SIDOTI: "Why haven't we caught bin Laden in your opinion?"
GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY: "I think, I wouldn't want to over-concentrate on Bin Laden. He's one of many, many people who are involved in this global Jihadist effort. He's by no means the only leader. It's a very diverse group – Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood and of course different names throughout the world. It's not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person. It is worth fashioning and executing an effective strategy to defeat global, violent Jihad and I have a plan for doing that."
In other words, Governor Romney suggested that a lot more strategic effort was needed to defeat the global jihad rather than just wasting time and money chasing one man. Here's a bit more:
SIDOTI: "But would the world be safer if bin laden were caught?"
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: "Yes, but by a small percentage increase – a very insignificant increase in safety by virtue of replacing bin Laden with someone else. Zarqawi – we celebrated the killing of Zarqawi, but he was quickly replaced. Global Jihad is not an effort that is being populated by a handful or even a football stadium full of people. It is – it involves millions of people and is going to require a far more comprehensive strategy than a targeted approach for bin laden or a few of his associates."
SIDOTI: "Do you fault the administration for not catching him though? I mean, they've had quite a few years going after him."
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: "There are many things that have not been done perfectly in any conduct of war. In the Second World War, we paratroopered in our troops further than they were supposed to be from the beaches. We landed in places on the beaches that weren't anticipated. Do I fault Eisenhower? No, he won. And I'm nowhere near as consumed with bin Laden as I am concerned about global Jihadist efforts."
I'll conclude with another quote, this time from President Barack Obama in a CBS interview right after our Navy SEALS assassinated Osama bin-Laden: "You know, we don't trot out this stuff as trophies. Americans and people around the world are glad that he's gone. But we don't need to spike the football."
Our Prevaricator-in-chief in action... lying, disgraceful, and shameless.