When I looked at the slate of guests on the Sunday talk shows yesterday morning, there seemed to be an effort to keep the focus on the election, rather than Benghazi and the shocking lack of action from the US during the seven-hour firefight at our consulate. Only Chris Wallace broached the subject on his own, but on CBS’ Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer had to know that by inviting John McCain to discuss the election and Hurricane Sandy on a segment all to himself, McCain would surely find a way to work the subject into the conversation — and McCain did not disappoint:
Slate notes that McCain used the “W” word — Watergate — in describing “the worst cover-up or incompetence I have ever observed in my life.” The Weekly Standard has a longer quote, sharply criticizing Barack Obama for his lack of candor and seriousness in this scandal, and McCain asks the classic Watergate question:
You know, this administration is very good at touting and giving all the details like when they got Bin Laden. But now, we know that there were tapes, recordings inside the consulate during this fight, and they’ve gotten—they came—the F.B.I. finally got in and took those, and now they’re classified as “top secret.” Why would they be top secret? So the president went on various shows, despite what he said he said in the Rose Garden, about terrorist acts, he went on several programs, including “The View” including “Letterman” including before the U.N., where he continued to refer, days later, many days later, to this as a spontaneous demonstration because of a hateful video. We know that is patently false. What did the president know? When did he know it? And what did he do about it?
Now was McCain alone, as the Weekly Standard reports at more length. While the other talk shows tried to shift focus away from Benghazi, their guests had other ideas. Even Carly Fiorina joined the effort, forcing the issue to the forefront on NBC’s Meet the Press when challenged on the subject of trust:
On the issue of trust, what is going on with regard to Libya? I mean here we have an extraordinary thing where the President comes out on Friday and says I directed that everything possible should be done to aid our embassy under attack. That attack went on for seven hours, we now know that Secretary Of Defense saying he denied requests for help over that seven hours. Where is the leadership? But it’s a trust issue, it’s a trust issue.
It’s a trust issue, all right — and not just for Obama, but for the media that seems to be running interference for him. Kudos, by the way, to Bob Schieffer, who didn’t attempt to change the subject at all once McCain changed it for him, and I suspect didn’t want to change the subject back.