Kerrey also gave a shout-out to President George W. Bush, whose policy Kerrey said Obama was continuing by refusing to grant sanctuary to those who attack the United States.

But Kerrey, himself a former Navy SEAL, said the operational specifics should have been kept secret.

“By describing certain methods — the name of the unit involved, the kinds of equipment employed, the nature of intelligence collected and techniques of insertion and extraction used in the operation — the president violated a key rule of clandestine work,” Kerrey wrote.

Seeking some distance from Obama will help Kerrey in a state that Obama is likely to lose by a wide margin in November. Reminding voters of his own solid credentials on national security and military policy is also a plus for Kerrey.

But taking his thoughts to a New York paper is an odd choice for Kerrey, who has been attacked as a “New York liberal” and a carpetbagger by Republicans even before he officially entered the Senate race. After leaving the Senate in 2001, Kerrey moved to New York, where he ran the New School in Manhattan, a position he held for almost a decade.