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Karl Rove misquotes Bill Clinton in WSJ op-ed attacking Obama campaign film

Olivier Knox, Yahoo News
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Rove (Steve Helber/AP)

The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Karl Rove on Thursday in which he played down the significance of President Barack Obama's decision to order the May 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden--and twists Bill Clinton's words to make it seem the former president agrees with Rove.

Rove, former deputy chief of staff for President George W. Bush, scoffs at the way Obama's re-election campaign points to the Navy SEAL operation as a symbol of his leadership, notably in the 17-minute film "The Road We Traveled."

Rove writes:

As for the killing of Osama bin Laden, Mr. Obama did what virtually any commander in chief would have done in the same situation. Even President Bill Clinton says in the film "that's the call I would have made." For this to be portrayed as the epic achievement of the first term tells you how bare the White House cupboards are.

But in doing so, Rove twisted Clinton's words almost beyond recognition, making him say essentially the opposite of his meaning in the film.

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"He took the harder and the more honorable path," Clinton says on camera. "When I saw what had happened, I thought to myself, 'I hope that's the call I would have made.'"

The White House hasn't exactly been shy about praising Obama for the raid--Vice President Joe Biden said recently the secretive assault was as "audacious" as any military operation in the last 500 years, putting it alongside the D-Day invasion of Normandy in 1944, the surprise landing at Inchon in 1950 that turned the tide of the Korean War or, going back a bit further, George Washington's daring nocturnal crossing of the Delaware River before the Battle of Trenton in 1776.

Obama strategist David Axelrod blasted Rove, writing on Twitter that the former Bush adviser "blatantly distorts Clinton from the 'The Road We Traveled' to try and belittle Obama's gutsy call on Bin laden."

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