Why Candy Crowley was right to correct Mitt Romney

It always makes you cringe when an umpire’s call shapes a big game in a meaningful way.  But sometimes, the referee intervenes at a crucial moment and it turns out they were right to do it.

A case in point was Candy Crowley’s challenge to Mitt Romney on his assertions about Libya and President Barack Obama’s response to the attack on US officials in Benghazi.

It was a risky move, but on balance it increased the understanding of the American people about the facts surrounding a tragic, ugly event which has taken a central place in this campaign.

Here’s the context.

Since taking office in 2009, Obama has faced an unceasing barrage of attacks from the right, suggesting that he is “soft” on terror and has failed to use direct and deliberate language when talking about attacks by Islamic radicals.

This narrative reflects a widely held view on the right that Obama might himself be a closeted Muslim, or that he harbors secret “anti-colonial” sentiments which might lead him to intentionally weaken or humble America.

Mitt Romney has embraced this narrative on the campaign trail, accusing the president of “apologizing” for America and of neglecting ties to Israel.

After the attacks in Egypt and Libya, Romney issued a statement accusing the Obama administration of “sympathiz[ing]” with the attackers.

“It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions,” Romney argued, “but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”

Before pivoting back to the specifics of this week’s debate — and Crowley’s role — let me pause to point out that these accusations are astonishing.

We’ve become inured to often extreme rhetoric about our presidents, so it’s important to remind ourselves how radical these claims have become.

A major party candidate is accusing America’s commander in chief of aligning himself, at least emotionally or philosophically, with a group that has murdered US officials in cold blood.

In the wider framing of conservative politics, the argument is even more astonishing.  According to the narrative widely held among Republican voters, we have a president who hasn’t simply made policy mistakes or committed errors.

According to their narrative, Obama is actively — albeit subtly and often in secret — working against the interests of America.

Extraordinary claims warrant compelling evidence.  And let me say bluntly that if there were facts to support these claims, they would represent impeachable offenses.

It’s hard to imagine a “high crime and misdemeanor” more treasonous than those conservatives suggest Obama has committed.

But the simple truth is that the facts don’t support right-wing conspiracy theories.  Not even marginally.  By all credible accounts, Obama has waged an extremely aggressive and lethal campaign against terror groups from the Horn of Africa to Pakistan.

Conservatives sometimes suggest that the killing of Osama bin Laden was a one-off event, a sort of accidental “get” that Obama’s administration has trumpeted unfairly.

But the killing of bin Laden came as part of a controversial campaign of highly effective assassinations and drone strikes.

There have been terror attacks on American interests on Obama’s watch, to be sure.  But these have been no more frequent or effective than terror attacks that occurred during the tenures of past presidents, including Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

The suggestion that Obama has apologized for America is similarly fact-free.

The assertion has been debunked repeatedly by the Washington Post, by Politifact and by FactCheck.org.  Again, this isn’t a case of gray zones or interpretation.  It is simply a case of factual inaccuracy.

Which brings us, at long last, to Barack Obama’s statement about the Libya attack the day after America’s diplomatic team was attacked and murdered.

In his address from the Rose Garden (full transcript here), the president repeatedly “condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack.”

Note that the president didn’t say “this shocking cultural misunderstanding” or “this criminal act.”  The first day after the assault, even as the facts are being gathered, Obama calls it an “outrageous and shocking attack.”

He then said this:  “And make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people…”going on to demand that the world community “unequivocally reject these brutal acts.”

Brutal acts.  Shocking attack.  Killers.  Still not clear enough?

Obama then unambiguously placed the attack in Beghazi in the context of the 9/11 terror attacks, the on-going war on terror and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Here is that section of his comments, in full.

Of course, yesterday was already a painful day for our nation as we marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks.  We mourned with the families who were lost on that day.  I visited the graves of troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hallowed grounds of Arlington Cemetery, and had the opportunity to say thank you and visit some of our wounded warriors at Walter Reed.  And then last night, we learned the news of this attack in Benghazi.

As Americans, let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because there are people who are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it, and in some cases, lay down their lives for it.  Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe.  No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.

Conservatives — embracing the skewed narrative context outlined above — have continued to insist that there is still some ambiguity here, some missing declaration of strength or purpose or loyalty.

But that tenuous framework of suspicion only holds up if you ignore the fact that Obama has, in fact, waged an astonishingly ruthless and lethal military campaign against Islamic militants — and the fact that right-wing anxiety about the president’s personal faith and cultural loyalties are not supported by any available evidence.

Of course, Crowley could have allowed this moment to slide.  Americans would have been left with a false sense that there is a gray zone here, a legitimate uncertainty about Obama’s actions and words.

Many Republicans will see bias in her actions — and, no doubt, in this analysis.  Obviously, I disagree.

It goes without saying that there are many aspects of Barack Obama’s foreign policy that bear scrutiny and criticism.  There are important questions still to be answered about why security at American facilities in Libya wasn’t beefed up long ago.

Mitt Romney also has a clear right to say clearly and factually how his foreign policy would differ materially from Obama’s.   It’s our job as reporters to make sure Americans hear about those distinctions, in a fair and factual way, so that voters can make informed choices.

But when politicians say things that are simply inaccurate, particularly when the claims are extraordinary, we have to throw the flag.  Crowley made the right call.

 

 

 

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68 Comments on “Why Candy Crowley was right to correct Mitt Romney”

  1. This is EXACTLY what’s lacking in modern reporting. Too much transcription and too little journalism. Journos are afraid that if they correct such outright falsehoods (and I’m not talking about the trickier exaggerations), they will be accused of bias. Well journos should be biased! They should be biased toward facts and truth. Good for Ms. Crowley for doing what too few of her colleagues have the guts to do.

  2. Mervel says:

    I agree with both Brians on this.

    It is not bias to point out factual errors.

    Foreign policy is Obama’s strength in this election he would be wise to bring it out, he would also be wise to talk about Romney’s plan to re-invade Iraq and stay in Afghanistan for the next 20 years or simply never leave. Romney was against the Iraq pullout, if he were president our troops would still be dying over there every day, for nothing. Every day that goes by that we are NOT in Iraq is a positive day for this President.

  3. Peter Hahn says:

    Its pretty nasty to politicize that killing. I dont remember previous al queda attacks being used politically, ever.

  4. gromit says:

    Excellent column, Brian! Thanks.

  5. Paul says:

    First of all claims that the president has been soft on terrorists is inaccurate. He has changed some policies that helped us locate and eventually “get” Bin Laden, but in other areas he has been very aggressive, drone use for example.

    Brian Mann can you remind us what it was that Crowley said specifically? I thought that she said “he said terror”? I don’t think there was any ambiguity in regards to the incident being an “attack” as you are saying she was correcting him? Did Romney claim that the president did not acknowledge that this was some kind of “attack”?

    What I saw was that her and president Obama were trying to make the point that in that first statement he referred to this as a “terrorist attack” or I guess a “terror attack” (whatever that is?).

    “But when politicians say things that are simply inaccurate, particularly when the claims are extraordinary, we have to throw the flag.”

    Fair enough I think there were other place then where she should have thrown the flag for both debate participants. Or is there some certain type of inaccurate statement that only fits the rule? The president and Romney are both big boys they can handle it themselves. You don’t need a moderator giving them the “liar liar pants on fire” routine like that.

    Did he? He used the word “terror” in reference to 9-11 not to this incident.

  6. JDM says:

    We are not impressed with the president’s semantics.

    He may have said a word or two in that speech, but his actions showed what he meant.

    If he thought Libya was terrorist attack, he sure did not act it. Off to Vegas and Colorado. Four days later the UN ambassador repeats his line about the movie thing, and Obama did not correct her.

    Jay Carney repeated the line about the movie thing, and Obama did not correct him.

    No. He did not act like the US was under attack no matter how you parse the word or two in his speech.

    What a liar.

  7. Peter Hahn says:

    JDM a liar is someone who intentionally says something untrue with the intention to deceive. Nothing you said remotely fits the definition of liar. In fact, you have no reason to think (other than political spinsmanship) that they all werent saying exactly what they believed to be true at the time.

  8. Jeff says:

    Candy was wrong. I read and had heard the commentary prior to the debate. The president’s statement did not declare the incident an act of terror. Perhaps she understood him to say that. You may have inferred that it did. I could read the speech to be an inferrence that we will not let terror shake our resolve– tying in the significance of the event taking place on 9/11. A throw in line like God Bless. I think it is a non-issue which Romney is whipping to a froth for his own purposes.

    Regardless of the spin Romney or others place on that head of a pin, it points to the excess of minutia of the whole campaign generates. I looked at fact checkers early this morning too. They are generally saying each is partly right on an various issues because they base their answer on such and such a report.

    My 15 year old was listening and said it was giving him a headache. My wife wanted direct answers to questions instead of a prelude of stories or background. Too many people are impatient that there are few simple answers.

    It all shows how close the two candidates are and the challenger is trying to create an image.

  9. Brian Mann says:

    JDM – Again, the morning after the attack the president spoke from the Rose Garden — not the sort of venue you use to soft peddle or downplay things.

    He promised on that day to bring the “killers” to justice.

    He calls the murders an “outrageous and shocking attack” and he promises that “no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation.”

    It’s really not all that ambiguous or complicated. To make it complicated, you have to first buy into a whole mess of ideas about Obama that are categorically, provably false.

    Again, this isn’t to say that there aren’t material and fair questions about Obama’s foreign policy in general and his handing of Libya and Egypt in particular.

    Perhaps Romney has a better idea for handling the Arab spring? Maybe Obama’s administration screwed up by ignoring requests for additional security. Those are fair game.

    Paul – You make a good point. I do think it would be have been good for Crowley to also follow up and push Obama to answer the original question posed by the audience member about security at the embassy.

    –Brian, NCPR

  10. Dave says:

    Transcript reads: Mention of 9/11…. mention of Benghazi… mention of acts of terror.

    You have got to be some sort of partisan with an axe to grind to continue to make an issue out of this.

    Either that, or you have to be seriously angry and delusional.

    But it is not like we haven’t seen this before. Right? When else has the President had to produce a document that proves some wild and crazy claim about him wrong… only to have people ignore that proof, or double down on their crazy and claim the proof itself is part of a bigger lie!?

    Birthers, anyone?

    I’d like to think we can eventually get to the point in this country where we can marginalize and ignore people like this. But unfortunately, these folks have captured one of our major political parties.

  11. Peter Hahn says:

    MR. ROMNEY: I — I — I want to make sure we get that for the record, because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.

    rose gardern speech

    “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today, we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.”

    Romney got sandbagged. :)

  12. There has been far too little of journalists calling out of misrepresentations and outright lies in the reporting and analysis in this election. I been struck by the lack of any fact checking after the debates. They just talk about how the candidates presented themselves, whether they were energetic, etc. Also ignored are all the times Romney changes the subject or other wise ducks the question. Candy Crowley was more than right. She did what a good moderator should do in that situation.

  13. Will Doolittle says:

    Of course reporters should step in to correct facts. Crowley was there at the Rose Garden, there was a clear dispute taking place right in front of her at the debate and she knew the truth and did the right thing. So many reporters are cowed by those whom they report on these days, afraid to do their own work, find out what’s happening and report it. Calling all parties with an interest — essentially a secretarial function — has replaced the tradecraft of reporting. And then reporters call that being balanced. A good reporter does his own digging to find out what is what, Brian (MOFYC), I could not agree more.

  14. Will Doolittle says:

    Then there is the also-common and even more lame practice among faux reporters of doing no reporting at all, just spouting off about what you perceive to be the truth — popular on the Internet these days.

  15. Paul says:

    “Romney got sandbagged. :)”

    Again, I disagree. I think that NPR (see here at this site) characterized it well.

    “The text of the Rose Garden speech, which we pointed to during our live blogging, shows that indeed the words are there, BUT IN A PRETTY GENERIC WAY (my emphasis): “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for,” the president said, during remarks in which he also said something that could be heard as an allusion to the infamous anti-Muslim video:

    “We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.”"

    If she and the president were correct and the administration felt, at that time, that this particular attack was an “act of terror” why did they change their minds the next day?

  16. Paul says:

    Someone asked what could you have done differently? Well I certainly don’t think that you would have had the state department pay for those TV ads that were aired over there where we reiterated the second part of the president’s Rose garden remarks since they were not the cause of the problem. That just fanned the flames. He got it wrong. He should just have admitted it last night and moved on.

  17. Peter Hahn says:

    Paul – If you watch the video snippet of the exchange – Obama kept saying “proceed” as Romney looked incredulous, its pretty obvious that Obama knew Romney was about to step in it. Somehow he knew that Candy Crowley knew too. Unfortunately for Romney, he (Romney) chose almost the exact phrasing “…before he called the attack in Benghazi an ACT of TERROR.”… that Obama had used in his rose garder speech. “No ACTS OF TERROR will…”

    What else could Candy Crowley say… Obama did, in fact, refer to “acts of terror”. As she pointed out, Obama also waited 14 days to clarify, but that got lost. From a theater perspective, and thats what this is, Obama set up Romney to get caught with his facts down.

    It seems likely that Obama was very well prepared for a Libya attack (in the debate – not the real one).

  18. Brian Mann says:

    Paul –

    I think this cuts in too fine — and I think NPR’s analysis, as you quote it here, has it wrong.

    Standing in the Rose Garden, Obama talked about a vicious attack, he promised to bring justice to the killers, and he said that “no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation.”

    The only context in which it makes sense to worry about whether this language is “pretty generic” is a context in which Obama’s bona fides regarding anti-terrorism are in deep question.

    Only…they’re not. You can question his policy toward the Arab Spring, or Iran’s nuclear program. But when it comes to hunting down and killing Islamic terrorists, this White House is clearly forward leaning.

    Regarding what happened surrounding the film and events in subsequent days:

    I’ve blogged here before that I think the administration should have been unequivocal in defending the American value of free speech.

    But the bigger question here — one that moves this out of the realm of culture war semantics and into the purview of actual national security — is what Obama’s team was actually doing in the days after the attack in Libya to apprehend and bring justice to the attackers.

    At this point, we can’t know the answer to this question with any certainty. Yes, theoretically, Obama might have blithely wandered off on a campaign trip without urging his people to do everything in their power to bring the “killers” to justice.

    But why on earth would anyone suppose that?

    There is no past history with this White House to suppose that Obama’s national security team was/is doing anything other than pursuing these people with red hot vengeance.

    –Brian, NCPR

  19. Paul says:

    “Many Republicans will see bias in her actions — and, no doubt, in this analysis. Obviously, I disagree.”

    Obviously it is biased if you only choose one “inaccuracy” to highlight. Again look at NPR’s list of them here.

    Here is one fro the president:

    “— “Did Romney say Arizona immigration law should be ‘model for the nation’? No, he did not. False. http://ow.ly/exb4I.”"

    I assume that the view of Hispanic voters are not very important in this election?

  20. Dave says:

    “why did they change their minds the next day?”

    On Sept. 13th…. the “next day” after the Rose Garden… The President delivered the following statement at a campaign appearance.

    Transcript: “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for,” he said. “Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.”

    Keep doubling down!

  21. Brian Mann says:

    Paul –

    I agree, as I’ve said. Crowley needed to play it fair in terms of follow-up questions and points of fact.

    I haven’t analyzed the debate closely enough to know of there were moments when she pushed Obama to be more accurate. Maybe she deserves a ding on that point.

    But I want to push back a bit here.

    I think there’s a difference between the usual fudgery and exaggeration of a political campaign — of which all four top candidates are certainly guilty — and the message that Romney has tried to convey with the “apology” and “he didn’t call it terrorism fast enough” memes.

    There is a vast gulf between bending the truth about, say, someone’s stance on immigration policy…and suggesting that a president of the united states sympathizes on some level with people who attacked and murdered US officials.

    –Brian, NCPR

  22. Pete Klein says:

    Not a big fan of Crowley but thought she did a good job.
    In their lust to defeat Obama, the Republicans seem to have forgotten how to rally around the flag which everyone did after 9/11.
    The attacks on Obama over the Libya incident to me are shameful. I was proud to hear Obama say he was offended because so was I.
    Looking back, I just have to say that Bush one and Bush two were men of integrity compared to Romney.

  23. “Faux reporters” tend at least to be more honest and transparent about their biases.

  24. Paul says:

    “suggesting that a president of the united states sympathizes on some level with people who attacked and murdered US officials.”

    Brian, I don’t disagree there. So you think that this was something that she was trying to correct with her intervention last night? Sorry I will have to listen to the exchange again that wasn’t my take away.

    The presidents point was that he used the word “terror” in his remarks. She pointed out that this was “technically” correct. Romney’s point that she smashed by joining the fray was that the president was at the time clearly linking the attack to the actions of an unruly (apparently non-exisitant they tell us now) mob. I just don’t see this rising to the level you do and so I feel it was biased to step in.

  25. Will Doolittle says:

    We start counting angels dancing on the heads of pins in 3, 2, 1 …

  26. Newt says:

    I wonder what all our fine critics of Obama’s (no doubt imperfect) actions before and after the Libya attack would think about President’s Reagan’s handling of the Marine Corps Beirut Barracks situation almost 29 years ago that resulted in the deaths of 241 Marines and Sailors at the cost of one crazy militant truck driver. Reagan put them in there, Reagan began taking sides in the Civil War that provoked the attack, and Reagan (or, his appointees) failed to listen to warnings about the immanent attack. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Beirut_barracks_bombing. I don’t think there was ever even an investigation.
    Since many think Benghazi should be prima facie cause for Obama to lose the election, what should Beirut have meant for Reagan? Drawing and quartering?

  27. Paul says:

    The best part of this was not only did the moderator support the president’s answer for him. But when he asked, “thanks Candy can you say it again louder”…. Yes, sir Mr. president!….

    In my opinion here she is not a journalist reporting a story she is a debate moderator. No matter the content the candidates should speak for themselves. Like I said they are big boys.

    At the end of a debate where the sparks fly and the truth is often flogged by both candidates we should not have to say, who do you think did well? “Candidate 1″ or “Candidate 2 and the moderator”. I just don’t think that is unreasonable. But I guess Brian and Will and others you think that this exchange rises to such a level that the clear bias is warranted.

  28. Paul says:

    Does the president’s campaign and the PACs have the ads running of this exchange yet? It could have an impact.

  29. Peter Hahn says:

    Republicans have a long history of calling Democrats (and opponents in general) soft on communism, pinkos, and now soft on terrorism. Related adjectives are weak on defense or just “weak” or apologists. These are major components of their manly red meat items.

    In this case, the charge is totally bogus – and, as Brian points out, if taken literally, would (if true) be worthy of “high crimes and misdemeanors” – certainly worse than what Clinton got impeached for.

    It seems that we are so used to this stuff from the Republicans that we just accept it as part of “who they are”, rather than seeing it as morally reprehensible (which it would be otherwise).

  30. Will Doolittle says:

    Paul,
    It’s not bias for Candy Crowley to confirm the president said something she heard him say. I assume you’re joking about the “Yes, Sir, Mr. President” part, but if not, she did not say that.
    Here’s a link to the relevant part of the transcript:
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/2012-presidential-debate-full-transcript-oct-16/story?id=17493848&page=8#.UH7_1673Srg

  31. Paul says:

    Will, yes, I was joking about that part. Like I said I think that you and I just disagree. Even in this instance I think that it was biased for her as a debate moderator to step in and defend the president and his remarks, and I certainly don’t think she had to, when instructed by the president, do it a second time louder for him. How can you can not see that as biased in a highly charged debate like this?

  32. Paul says:

    Will, thanks for the link:

    I think that one thing a moderator should do is try and help the people asking the question actually get an answer.

    For example here is the questions that proceeded the exchange:

    “Who was it that denied enhanced security and why? ”

    The president never made any attempt to answer that guys question. Not even close.

  33. Gary says:

    If I didn’t know better I would say Obama knew Candy would have the transcript? How and why?

  34. JDM says:

    Brian Mann: “It’s really not all that ambiguous or complicated.”

    It really isn’t. Obama is on his way out the door.

    The only trump card he has left is a military strike on Libya.

    Stay tuned. Bombs being loaded as we speak!

  35. Larry says:

    In the first place, Brian Mann, it is not a commonly held belief among Republicans that Obama is a closeted Muslim or that he covertly aids America’s enemies and iti is irresponsible to suggest it. Neither have I ever heard or read that Romney accused Obama of being aligned with al Qaeda. These irresponsible and incendiary attacks are not journalism and they aren’t even good politicking. The panic over Obama’s sinking ship has apparently tuned up the flames on the over-heated rhetoric and caused people to over-reach themselves.

    Candy Crowley had no business interjecting herself into the debate – none. If she wants to practice responsible journalism let her question Romney at his next press conference. This was supposed to be a debate between presidential candidates and the last I checked, she wasn’t one of them. Has anyone ever seen a boxing match where the referee joined one fighter in punching the other? Applauding her stunt is the worst sort of behavior for supposed journalists.

  36. Larry says:

    Here are the facts about Benghazi:

    1. After the killings the attack was characterized by the government as a spontaneous protest against a You Tube video.

    2. Apologies for cultural insensitivity were issued by the government.

    3. Some time later the government changed their assessment of the attack from spontaneous protest to terrorist attack and promised to get those responsible. They also promised to “get to the bottom” of who (in the government) said and did what and when.

    (I use the term “government” deliberately because it is not yet clear who was actually responsible.)

    It is beyond doubt that these things happened. Someone in the government either lied about events, completely mismanaged them or failed to comprehend them at all. Last night the President stated the obvious when he said he was responsible for the government. I think then, that it is legitimate for him to be questioned about the epic failure of his government to protect American diplomats and advance our interests abroad.

  37. zeke says:

    I am much more interested in What Mr. Romney will propose cutting. I know he will increase Defense. Fine. What is he proposing be cut? Anyone? Anyone?

  38. JDM says:

    Liar, liar:

    On September 20 — eight days after Obama claims to have called the Benghazi attack an “act of terror” — Jay Carney affirmed to reporters that the White House had never called it “a terrorist attack.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/more-evidence-of-deception/2012/10/17/2a4a26c6-1870-11e2-a55c-39408fbe6a4b_blog.html

  39. JDM says:

    It don’t matter. Obama is toast.

  40. JDM says:

    I’m glad Brian Mann thinks Candy Crowley was right.

    Candy Crowley, however, admits she made a mistake.

    Here’s a video from CNN’s Candy Crowley regarding the actual Obama quote – and she NOW says (after correcting Mitt Romney during the actual debate) that Romney was actually RIGHT – Barack Obama did NOT specifically call the Benghazi Massacre a terrorist attack during his words in the Rose Garden the day after as Obama tried to spin it during the debate tonight.

  41. PNElba says:

    Has anyone googled “Binders full of women” yet?

  42. Larry says:

    Well, well, well. Let’s hear it for responsible journalism.

  43. Dave says:

    Oh I see. So the issue is that he referred to “acts of terror”, instead of saying “terrorist attack.”

    The birtherism treatment this is getting is absolutely amazing.

    I’m sure you can continue to split hairs, play semantics, and tweak your arguments till you finally produce something that can not be unequivocally refuted by the actual transcript of the President’s statements… but I am not sure what that accomplishes. It certainly doesn’t speak to the substance of this issue, or the truth of the situation. Maybe it gives you some sense of personal victory? It definitely doesn’t seem like something an honest person would continue to do.

  44. Peter Hahn says:

    Jay Carney lied??.

  45. Larry says:

    Ah, so that whole thing about the video was what? Semantics, hair-splitting, tweaking…what?

  46. Kathy says:

    Obama still took off for Las Vegas for a fund raising event. That’s not a leader.

  47. Walker says:

    A rather more factual account of the whole overblown affair appears here. That is, if anyone cares to know what actually happened.

  48. Larry says:

    What a masterpiece of disinformation! We were told in no uncertain terms that the attack in Benghazi was in response to a defamatory video. If, as is now claimed, it was characterized as a terrorist attack from the get-go, what was the point of all the government apologizing for our cultural insensitivity? Why isn’t that mentioned in your “factual account”? Something doesn’t add up here. I read the papers and watch the news and I resent being told that I didn’t see what I saw or read what I read. Four dead on Obama’s watch and you call it an “overblown affair’? Shame!

  49. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Brian M.: ” I think there’s a difference between the usual fudgery and exaggeration of a political campaign — of which all four top candidates are certainly guilty —”

    Which “all four top candidates” are you referring to? From the context it is Obama, Romney, Biden and Ryan. But I’m not sure that your statement is correct if you are including the top four presidential candidates or make it five and include Jill Stein of the Green Party, Constitution Party nominee Virgil Goode, and Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson.

    By the way, where is the news about Green Party president and vice president candidates being arrested at the debate venue and held cuffed to chairs for 8 hours?

    http://www.democracynow.org/2012/10/17/green_partys_jill_stein_cheri_honkala

  50. Dave says:

    “so that whole thing about the video was what? Semantics, hair-splitting, tweaking…what?”

    Trying to conflate the issue of the video with whether or not Obama called the attacks an “act of terror” in the Rose Garden (which he did, and is irrefutable) could be considered any of those – but probably best fits tweaking… as in, you’ve lost the argument about what the President said the day after, so now you are tweaking your arguments to make them about the video instead.

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