Republican blunder on 'Obama bin Laden'

IN A slip of the tongue, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has accused Democrat contender Barack Obama of urging terrorists to congregate in Iraq.

In the midst of criticising Mr Obama and other Democrats on foreign and economic policy yesterday, the Republican hopeful said: "Actually, just look at what Osam - Barack Obama - said just yesterday... Barack Obama, calling on radicals, jihadists of all different types, to come together in Iraq. That is the battlefield... It's almost as if the Democratic contenders for president are living in fantasyland. Their idea for jihad is to retreat, and their idea for the economy is to also retreat. And in my view, both efforts are wrongheaded."

Romney apparently was referring to a tape aired on Monday in which a speaker believed to be Osama bin Laden called for insurgents in Iraq to unite and avoid divisions.

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Besides his criticism of Mr Obama, Romney said: "It's my personal belief that having someone like John Edwards, a senator, who goes out and communicates that there is no global war on terror - that it's just a Bush bumper sticker - I think that is a position that is not consistent with the facts."