Obama says he hasn't spiked football to mark anniversary of bin Laden's death

Responding to GOP criticism of “spiking the football" on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death, President Obama said Monday there hasn't been "any excessive celebration" by his administration.

Speaking to reporters a day before the first anniversary, Obama took issue with the notion that his administration has tried to politicize the issue.

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"I hardly think you’ve seen any excessive celebration taking place here," Obama said at a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Noda.

"I think the American people remember rightly what we as a country accomplished in bringing to justice someone who killed 3,000 of our citizens."

Obama said the anniversary would mark a time for “some reflection to give thanks to those who participated,” which is said was “entirely appropriate and that’s what’s taken place."


In the last few days, critics have accused Obama of politicizing the killing of bin Laden, particularly in a video released by his campaign that suggested presumptive GOP presidential nominee would not have ordered the mission. The campaign video asked: "Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?"

Obama also conducted an interview with NBC's Brian Williams in the White House Situation Room to mark the anniversary.

Speaking in New Hampshire on Monday, Romney said "of course" he would have ordered an operation to kill bin Laden.

But Obama’s campaign team has pounced on previous comments by Romney, who in 2007 said it was not worth “moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.”

Asked about Romney's comments, Obama said he would “just recommend that everyone take a look at people's previous statements.”

“I assume that people meant what they said when they said it,” Obama said. “That's at least been my practice. I said I'd go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him ... and I did.

“If there are others who said one thing and now said they'd do something else, I'd let them explain it,” he said.