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President Barack Obama on Monday appeared to call out Mitt Romney over what he said about going after Osama bin Laden on the campaign trail four years ago, as opposed to on the eve of the first anniversary of the raid that killed the terrorist leader.

Asked about Romney’s comments earlier in the day that the decision to go after bin Laden was a clear one and that “even Jimmy Carter would” have made the call, Obama referred to a difference between what Romney said during his 2008 presidential campaign and on the eve of the first anniversary of the attack.

“I assume that people meant what they said when they said it,” Obama said during a joint appearance with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. “That’s been at least my practice. I said that 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 suggest they’d do something else, I’d go ahead and let them explain.”

Obama also appeared to take exception with a reporter’s question that suggested there was excessive celebration around the anniversary of the al Qaeda leader’s death, repeating a charge that Republicans have made.

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