Obama at the Veterans of Foreign Wars conference in July (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)CHARLOTTE—Perhaps acknowledging a potential weakness this November, several Democrats have used their speeches on the first night of the Democratic National Convention to promote President Barack Obama's record on the military.
At least three times, speakers, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, have pointed to Obama's decision to approve the raid that killed Osama bin Laden—suggesting Obama overcame Republican skepticism about a potential raid.
"Some said he shouldn't move heaven and earth to get bin Laden," Reid said. "But President Obama made the tough and right call to bring the world's worst terrorist to justice."
Tammy Duckworth, a former Army pilot who lost both legs when her helicopter was shot down during the Iraq war, also brought up the bin Laden raid in her speech defending Obama on military issues.
"Barack Obama has also lived up to his responsibilities as commander-in-chief, ending the war in Iraq, refocusing on Afghanistan and eradicating terrorist leaders including bin Laden," said Duckworth, who is now running for an Illinois congressional seat.
She also praised Obama's other accomplishments on the military — including his decision to roll back the "don't ask, don't tell" rule that blocked gay members of the military from being open about their sexuality. And Duckworth praised Obama's decision to allow female soldiers to serve in combat.
At the same time, Duckworth criticized Mitt Romney for not talking about the war in Afghanistan during his speech at the Republican National Convention last week — echoing an Obama campaign talking point.
"Mitt Romney had a chance to show his support for the brave men and women he is seeking to command," she said. "But he chose to criticize President Obama instead of even uttering the word 'Afghanistan'."
Her remarks came after an Obama campaign video highlighting the president's work on behalf of "American veterans."