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Romney: I Want Bin Laden Dead Or Alive

Romney And Bush Same Gaffe

First Posted: 03/28/08 03:45 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 01:20 PM ET

While on the campaign trail on Sunday, Mitt Romney deployed foreign policy rhetoric straight out of President George Bush's playbook and even repeated one his most memorable gaffes.

Speaking in front of hundreds of Republican voters in Nashua, New Hampshire, Romney was pressed to describe why Osama bin Laden was deemed such a high threat to America. The former Massachusetts governor rambled a bit about the obvious dangers the al Qaeda leader poses -- as well as the litany of atrocities he's committed - before offering: "I want to get Osama bin Laden dead or alive."

The statement is reminiscent of a similar remark made by President Bush in the wake of the 9/11 attacks -- a statement that Bush later said he regretted making.

"Kind of tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong signal to people," Bush said. "I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner."

With the New Hampshire primary fast approaching, Romney, like the rest of his primary opponents (save Rep. Ron Paul), has tried to posture himself as the standard bearer of much of George Bush's foreign policy. Before the bin Laden remark, the Massachusetts Republican suggested that America's presence in the Middle East was not only strategic but also providential.

"We are doing God's work now, in my opinion," Romney said, "by keeping al Qaeda and Hezbollah from establishing a safe haven."

Romney has been pressed on the issue of Osama bin Laden before, in large part because of seemingly incongruous statements made about the importance of capturing the terrorist figure.

In an April 2007 interview, Romney said, in regards to Bin Laden: "It's not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person."

But when questioned about the comment at a GOP presidential debate shortly after, he upped the rhetoric, declaring: "He is going to pay and he will die."

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