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Romney agrees with bin Laden raid

WASHINGTON/BOCA RATON, Florida -- The bin Laden raid was one of the many issues U.S. President Barack Obama Obama used to differentiate himself from his opponent in Monday's presidential foreign policy debate.

Romney — during his failed bid for the 2008 Republican nomination — criticized Obama for warning publicly that, if Islamabad didn't act, he would go into Pakistan to get high value targets like bin Laden. Romney suggested such comments were not helpful in building ties.

On Monday, Romney said he also would have ordered the raid.

“We had to go into Pakistan. We had to go in there to get Osama bin Laden. That was the right thing to do,” Romney said.

The question of who in Pakistan might have known about bin Laden's whereabouts is still a matter of speculation.

US Can't Kill Way out of Extremist Threats: Romney

Romney said he praises President Barack Obama for ordering the raid that killed bin Laden, but adds that the United States “can't kill our way out of this mess” of religious extremism.

Romney opened Monday's third and final presidential debate by criticizing Obama's policies toward Islamic extremism. He said that Obama missed an opportunity during the Arab Spring and said that Obama has not done enough to block Iran from building a nuclear weapon.

Obama says Romney has not been in a position to execute foreign policy, but adds that his positions to this point have “been all over the map.” Romney says his strategy “is pretty straight forward: go after the bad guys.”

Obama, in some of his most blunt remarks to date, said that Osama bin Laden would have escaped if the United States had sought Pakistan's permission ahead of the raid on the al-Qaida leader's compound.

Obama administration officials have previously justified the decision not to involve Islamabad by citing the risk that bin Laden might somehow be tipped off and flee his compound in Abbottabad before the team of Navy SEALs arrived.

Leon Panetta, then the director of the CIA and now defense secretary, said in an interview with TIME magazine shortly after the May 2011 raid that there was a concern that the Pakistanis “might alert the targets.”

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