White House spokesman Jay Carney said yesterday that Joe Biden didn’t misspeak when the vice president called the operation to get Osama bin Laden the most “audacious” military plan in 500 years.
“You can go back 500 years. You cannot find a more audacious plan,” Biden said at a Monday fundraiser in New Jersey. “Never knowing for certain. We never had more than a 48% probability that he was there.”
After reporters laughed upon a repeat of Biden’s comment, Carney was asked what the second-in-command meant by the remark.
“I think he meant that the decision the President made, as you all know and are aware of, was a very difficult one; that, as has been reported, that the information that we had, which was obviously of high quality, was not conclusive; that the advice the president was getting from his senior-most national security advisoers was mixed on what to do — mixed at best; and that in the end, he had to make a very fateful decision,” Carney said.
“And as he said, one of the reasons why he felt so confident in making that decision was that he knew that the forces he would send in on the bin Laden mission were the absolute best that have ever existed, and that they would fulfill their mission with great professionalism and success,” the press secretary continued. “Obviously, it would have been a different story if bin Laden had not been in that compound. But the President — that’s why you’re president — you have to make those tough calls. And I think that’s what Vice President Biden was referring to.”
“More audacious than D-Day?” a reporter asked.
“Well, the historical assessments I’ll leave to him and others, but there’s no question that this was a very, very difficult decision that only commanders-in-chief have to make,” Carney responded.
“So he didn’t misspeak?”
“No,” Carney said.