In campaign speeches this year, President Obama has frequently said some variation on the following line: "I said we'd refocus on the people who actually attacked us on 9/11, and today, al Qaeda is on the run, and Osama bin Laden is dead."
At a Oct. 17 campaign event in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, however, the al Qaeda line was missing.
Obama has said al Qaeda has been "decimated" or the group is "on its heels" or "on the run" at various points this year — including after the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi.
Asked about the shift during a press briefing with reporters Thursday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Obama has made clear his intention to refocus efforts on those who attacked the nation on Sept. 11, 2001, according to pool reports.
"Our efforts against al Qaeda have inarguably led to success and progress, but the work is not yet done," Carney said.
Update (12:49 p.m.): Obama told supporters Thursday at a Manchester, N.H., campaign stop that al Qaeda is "on the path to defeat."