Romney: We sure didn’t get transparency from Obama on Benghazi attack, huh?

posted at 9:21 am on October 5, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Consider this a warm-up for the next presidential debate, which will focus on foreign policy.  Last night on Hannity, host Sean Hannity asked whether Mitt Romney thought that the weeks-long string of lies and half-truths coming from the White House about the attack on Benghazi had revealed a plot to cover up the truth — that terrorists has successfully attacked an American diplomatic mission for the first time in 14 years.  Romney didn’t quite embrace the “cover-up” term, but he hammered Barack Obama for not admitting the obvious, and for abandoning the transparency Obama claims to cherish:

HANNITY: I know this was not about foreign policy last night, ah, we have been following very closely on this program the issue in Benghazi, the death of our ambassador, the first time in 30 years, two Navy SEALs.  Do you believe there’s a cover-up going on?

ROMNEY: Well, Sean, first let me note my — my condolences and sympathies for the families of those who lost their lives, and my respect for those who fought so bravely for us.  Those two SEALs who were there on a private assignment, they weren’t working for the government in an official capacity at the time this occurred, I just, ah, I think so much of them.  I – I believe what happened there was obviously a tragic failure.  There had been warnings of a possible attack; there were requests on the part of our commission there, of our diplomats there rather, to have additional security forces.  They were turned down.

And then following the tragedy, we saw, well, misleading information coming from the administration.  In fact, the President didn’t acknowledge this was a terrorist act for, what — a week or two?  I mean, this was a terrorist attack, lives were lost, this happened on 9/11.  We expect candor and transparency from the President, from the administration — and we didn’t get it.

Romney gets support for this position this morning in the influential New Hampshire newspaper, the Union-Leader. Their lead editorial accuses Obama of having “hid the truth” on Libya, and says the obvious conclusion is that Obama intended to deceive America about the nature of the attack:

There is no other conclusion but that President Obama deliberately deceived the American people to hide the fact that the nation had suffered a terrorist attack on his watch.

Indeed.  And that’s the perception that Americans will have in mind during that foreign policy debate in less than two weeks.


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Ed said:

Consider this a warm-up for the next presidential debate, which will focus on foreign policy.

No, that’s the third debate. Next is town hall.

Jon0815 on October 5, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Indeed. And that’s the perception that Americans will have in mind during that foreign policy debate in less than two weeks

No they won’t. What’s going to give them that impression?

Cricket chirps on the MSM, and other than us junkies, who reads the Union-Leader.

BacaDog on October 5, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Just warming up for the big confrontation on this issue, and Bark is in big trouble.

Bishop on October 5, 2012 at 9:27 AM

No, that’s the third debate. Next is town hall.

Jon0815 on October 5, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Town halls are a joke, and easy for Obama to fix. I watched the first debate from start to finish. I don’t think I can make myself watch the town hall.

The Rogue Tomato on October 5, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Make McCain do an ad

They are screaming about unrealistic promises, wrong assumptions and lies on the part of Mitt.

They are judging him on the basis of the Obama 2008 campaign.

But McCain ignored those facts then and he should come out now about them. His making nice got us here since even O might have been better for the last four years if someone had hit him with reality.

IlikedAUH2O on October 5, 2012 at 9:34 AM

…well so what Mitt…the unemployment rate went below 8% for the first time in four years a month before the election!…who cares?

KOOLAID2 on October 5, 2012 at 9:34 AM

I think Romney is realizing he is dealing with radicals. This is not insignificant. During this same interview with Hannity, Romney stated that one of Obama’s strategists said “We need to kill Romney.” Romney then said “Hopefully not literally.”
Romney also said after their convention that they need to stop their Nazi references towards the GOP.

This tells me Romney is beginning to see Obama and his Democrats for the extremists they are. I think he’s had an awakening of sorts. He’s calling these people out publicly. RINO’s never do that. Romney is.
Here is the link to the bit about the Obama strategist. It comes in around the 2:11 mark.
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/mitt-romney-abandons-47-percent-remarks-on-hannity-i-was-completely-wrong/

JellyToast on October 5, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Just warming up for the big confrontation on this issue, and Bark is in big trouble.

Bishop on October 5, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Whatever. Hey, did you hear that Mitt is a liar? Plus, he’s rich!

fossten on October 5, 2012 at 9:41 AM

…well so what Mitt…the unemployment rate went below 8% for the first time in four years a month before the election!…who cares?

KOOLAID2 on October 5, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Romney has repeatedly talked about unemployment…but as it stands right now, he can’t do anything about it. Until he wins, of course. And then we’ll all hold him to that promise.

Not to mention, a deadly attack on US embassies, and the alleged and subsequent cover-up by the Obama administration for possible political gain during an election year isn’t quite a “who cares?” incident. It’s pretty important.

JetBoy on October 5, 2012 at 9:42 AM

I think the town hall debate will be interesting….Uhhhbama is obviously not a quick “think on his feet” type of speaker, he will ramble and ramble and ramble, and never make a point, but will end with green energy is the way to invest in our country. Romney IS a quick thinker. I’m curious to see how they perform. The moderator won’t really be able to coach Uhhhbama, the way Lehrer tried to coach him the other night.

As far as the foreign policy debate in two weeks, BO is in profoundly deep trouble over the Libya deceit. That just cannot be spun–period.

herm2416 on October 5, 2012 at 9:43 AM

It was extreme community organizing.

RBMN on October 5, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Town halls are a joke, and easy for Obama to fix. I watched the first debate from start to finish. I don’t think I can make myself watch the town hall.

The Rogue Tomato on October 5, 2012 at 9:30 AM

It may be worth watching this time just to see how Obama over-reacts to his drubbing Wednesday. He’s going to be under so much pressure to perform that it could be a real disaster for him.

TXUS on October 5, 2012 at 9:50 AM

No, that’s the third debate. Next is town hall.
Jon0815 on October 5, 2012 at 9:23 AM
Town halls are a joke, and easy for Obama to fix. I watched the first debate from start to finish. I don’t think I can make myself watch the town hall.
The Rogue Tomato on October 5, 2012 at 9:30 AM

You’re both right, but none the less, this townhall could be ugly for Romney. I’m sure there are some Sandra Fluck types packed in there.

MeatHeadinCA on October 5, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Make McCain do an ad

IlikedAUH2O on October 5, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Yeah, no thanks. McCain has been cheerleading for Obama since the debate.

VibrioCocci on October 5, 2012 at 9:51 AM

A salient point needs to be brought to the fore by Mitt. Obama blamed the Libyan attack on an obscure YouTube trailer…..how does that square with a Sony-produced full length picture of the bin Laden killing, complete with narrative provided by the Obama administration? To be released two days before the election, no less.

herm2416 on October 5, 2012 at 9:51 AM

I think that the Obama Campaign would not let the administration come out and tell the truth, because they wanted to waste two weeks of the campaign saying that Romney had a right wing knee jerk reaction on his comment about appeasement at the Eqyptian embassy, and Jumping the Gun to suggest there were terrorists out there in Libya, and a complicit media played it the Obama way the theme of the week being, Romney is a *fill in the blank* his campaign is crumbling. All the while they were waging a poll war on Romney’s supporters. When Romney was Right all along. Only at Fox News did they tell you that the White House took down and disavowed the Eqyptian embassy statement.

The media would not even publish the facts as they came out, they dragged their feet just like they did on Fast and Furious for a year…or two.

Today I am hearing the media is starting to repeat that Romney told lies in the debate. Harry Potter had to write on his hand: I shall not tell lies, I shall not tell lies, until his hand bled, so young people, Romney is in good company.

Fleuries on October 5, 2012 at 9:53 AM

…well so what Mitt…the unemployment rate went below 8% for the first time in four years a month before the election!…who cares?

KOOLAID2 on October 5, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Please stay on topic, or wait for the thread that deals with this.

chelie on October 5, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Well, the foreign policy debate will be followed, on the Sunday before the election, by a rather interesting movie:

“Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden,” from The Weinstein Co. and Voltage Pictures, will air Sunday, Nov. 4, on the National Geographic Channel.

It is produced, of course, by none other than Harvey Weinstein, bundler maximus for Obama. The channel stated that the election had nothing to do with the timing but that it would help the start of their fall season. Right!

TXUS on October 5, 2012 at 9:59 AM

The town hall format for the second presidential debate is to touch on foreign and domestic policy.

Schedule here.

Of course, we all know the moderator will do her best to avoid the difficult topics for Obama.

JenWestin on October 5, 2012 at 10:03 AM

Yeah, no thanks. McCain has been cheerleading for Obama since the debate.

VibrioCocci on October 5, 2012 at 9:51 AM

wat

JetBoy on October 5, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Press on regardless. There’s no place for slacking off in the push towards the finish line now.

If they’re screaming we’re winning.

Speakup on October 5, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Everyone thinks the first debate was bad for Obama, wait until this second one. Oh boy. We may see Obama have a full meltdown right there on live television.

In fact, they may want to think about a 5 second delay on airing that debate.

ButterflyDragon on October 5, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Everyone thinks the first debate was bad for Obama, wait until this second one. Oh boy. We may see Obama have a full meltdown right there on live television.

ButterflyDragon on October 5, 2012 at 10:23 AM

I’m looking forward to the Biden/Ryan debate…Obama stammers, Biden is sure to belt out some epic comedy.

JetBoy on October 5, 2012 at 10:35 AM

[T]his was a terrorist attack, lives were lost, this happened on 9/11. We expect candor and transparency from the President, from the administration — and we didn’t get it.

I’m wondering if Barry will look Romney in the eye when some version of this statement is directed at him during the foreign policy debate?

Thank you, Mitt Romney for emphasizing that the attack happened on 9/11. That bothers me more than any other aspect of this tragedy. While an attack on our soil cannot be rendered impossible on this or any other day, we’d better be darn sure we are as prepared as possible on days that we know they are likely to attack. There is no bigger day on the Terrorist calendar than 9/11.

The administration blew security and then engaged in a cover up.

EconomicNeocon on October 5, 2012 at 10:36 AM

The townhall debate would appear to stack the odds against Romney: the loaded questions selected by (and therefore not to be held accountable) enemedia; sob-stories of people with whom Romney’s supposedly completely out of touch; unstructured opportunity for Obama to blather on with phony empathy (although, far more than Clinton’s, the empathy projected by this cold fish really does come across as phony).

But I think Romney has chance of knocking this one out of the park, too. However stiff or guarded he may be regarded by some (and that won’t be in evidence in this format), he’s genuine. He’s also a genuinely nice guy. And Obama is not. The contrast will show.

If the Obama campaign is complaining about “that was a different Romney on the stage” now, wait until after the next debate.

de rigueur on October 5, 2012 at 10:53 AM

…well so what Mitt…the unemployment rate went below 8% for the first time in four years a month before the election!…who cares?

That is small comfort for the other 23 million unemployed and under-employed, isn’t it?

Mr. President, I think that it is time to pivot to the economy. Yet again. We are waiting. Waiting. Waiting…

Old Fritz on October 5, 2012 at 11:18 AM

He didn’t acknowledge Mitt? Try, he “denied!” At one time in our history, this deliberately deceptive stuff was commonly known as lying, but then came political correctness whereby certain pigmented people are denied the decency and benefits of being told the truth.

Don L on October 5, 2012 at 12:16 PM

♫♪ “Öoo Öoo Öoo, that smell … can you smell that smell?” ♫♪

There is no other conclusion but that President Obama deliberately deceived the American people to hide the fact that the nation had suffered a terrorist attack on his watch. – New Hampshire Union-Leader.

Why, I do believe ’tis indeed a breath of fresh air.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on October 5, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Ed said:

Consider this a warm-up for the next presidential debate, which will focus on foreign policy.

No, that’s the third debate. Next is town hall.

Jon0815 on October 5, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Ed is right that the next debate (at Hofstra) will be the first one to address foreign policy issues — but not exclusively.

You are correct that the final debate is intended to focus exclusively on foreign policy.

What Mitt is doing right now, with these comments about Benghazi, is very smart. The Democrats were so stunned by Obama’s lackluster performance on Wednesday that they want to keep the focus on debating about that debate, including by offering risible excuses or explanations for his “unexpected” lackluster performance, and also by baseless claims that Mitt was lying.

That’s the way it always is with Democrats! They cannot take a loss in stride. A loss that big gets right in their craw! They are incapable of just moving on. They have to keep coming back and coming back until they “feel” like they finally “won” the argument, even though what they are also doing is reminding people how poorly he did.

Meanwhile, Mitt is responding to the BS, but he is also moving on to foreign policy and laying the groundwork for an attack on the Obama Administration’s shocking and disturbing mishandling of circumstances, ones that we now know led to the Benghazi attack. And the Administration was covering up their incompetence with their reactions.

Obama’s campaign suffered a big setback with the debate, not only because Obama failed to perform well, but also because Mitt was successful in demonstrating to a very wide audience that he is a viable candidate. He successfully presented himself as a man who anyone could watch and be able to come away saying, “He could be President.”

That was what happened back in 1980 during the one and only debate between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan held on October 28th of that year. Reagan was able to respond to Carter’s attempted attack aimed at Reagan’s position on Medicare [“Well, there you go again.”], and also to ask a heart to heart series of questions about how people felt about their personal situations, in his brilliant summary statement, [“Are you better off today …”].

But I think most importantly, Reagan was instantly able to demonstrate to millions of people who had theretofore been subjected to a constant drumbeat of media messaging, labeling him as a “right wing extremist” that he was a serious and thoughtful candidate.

The audience could see otherwise for themselves. And many of them simply concluded, right then and there that, “He could be President.” He won in a landslide — a 10 point difference as between he and Carter, a difference that not one single public poll came anywhere close to accurately predicting. The public polls conducted and published after that debate showed him slightly in the lead, but only by a few percentage points.

Trochilus on October 5, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Fleuries on October 5, 2012 at 9:53 AM

I think the way you put it is the most plausible explanation for why they got so stuck on stupid and continued to deny that it was a planned terror attack, long after it was clear that the attack — especially the sustained and highly accurate mortar attack on the safe house — had no other possible explanation than that it was a well-planned terrorist attack expressly timed for the anniversary date.

After all, they had gotten a lot of mileage out of the CNN re-wrap on the “Romney overreached” argument. It went on for a couple of days. But when CNN found Stevens’ short diary in the rubble several days after the attack and used it to reveal that the Ambassador was concerned about diplomatic security in general, and the possibility that he personally could become a target of an assassination attempt, they were viciously attacked by the Administration for violating Stevens’ privacy!!

Suddenly, Anderson Cooper also discovered, to his shock and dismay, that the Administration’s position on what kind of attack had occurred was changing.

Check it out for yourself — on September 19, 2012 at 7:47 pm, Anderson Cooper tweeted the following question:

Anderson Cooper @andersoncooper 19 SEP

US official admits for 1st time the attack on #Libya consulate was a “terrorist attack.” why only now are they saying this? @AC360 8p, 10p

I saw it and bluntly responded a few minutes later:

Trochilus ‏@Trochilus

@andersoncooper @AC360 Why only now? Because they assumed that you would continue to parrot their line that Romney was wrong. Wake up!

And I’m sure I was not alone! For 8 full days Cooper and CNN had been carrying the Administration’s water on Benghazi — they were continuing to use a terror incident to politically attack Mitt Romney!

However, the combined result of the nastiness from the Sec’y of State over the diary, and the changing story about terrorism, was that the Administration lost CNN on this issue.

Since, they have been reporting on the failure of the FBI to go to the scene, the changing stories, and other inconsistencies, and as a result, the Administration looks a little like a penny waiting for change to their loyalists who watch CNN. I’ll give credit where credit is now due.

But it will be virtually impossible to get anyone to own up to the fact that politics — in the form of criticism of Mitt Romney — was at least one of the significant driving motivations in the Obama Administration’s position on the Benghazi attack.

And unless someone starts “leaking” from State, we won’t know until after the election just how badly the security screw up was that Hillary Clinton presided over at the State Department!

Trochilus on October 5, 2012 at 1:40 PM