Obama stretched truth on Benghazi to its outer limits
October 18, 2012 01:24 AM | 1941 views | 5 5 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
AS EXPECTED, a different President Barack Obama showed up at Tuesday’s Second Presidential Debate, one who was engaged and energetic and eager to defend his checkered record — unlike the Obama who was at the podium for the first debate. Meanwhile, Republican challenger Mitt Romney turned in another powerful performance.

The first debate was a clear win for Romney. Tuesday’s town-hall debate at Hofstra University in New York was closer to a draw, with the partisans of the two men probably thinking — with good reason — that their respective candidate came out ahead.

Romney hit hard on Obama’s inability to ignite the economy, noting that the unemployment rate is where it was when Obama took office, but that when those who have stopped looking for work are factored in that the true rate is nearly 11 percent.

Rebutted Obama, “Romney says he’s got a five-point plan. Gov. Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan. He has a one-point plan. And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules. That’s been his philosophy in the private sector. That’s been his philosophy as governor. That’s been his philosophy as a presidential candidate. You can make a lot of money and pay lower tax rates than somebody who makes a lot less.”

Romney retorted that there are 23 million people “struggling to find a job. … The president’s policies have been exercised over the last four years and they haven’t put America back to work. We have fewer people working today than when he took office.”

Without much of a record of his own to run on, Obama continued predicting the worst should Romney be elected.

But said Romney, in answer to a question from an audience member who said he’d voted for Obama four years ago but wasn’t sure why he should support him this time: “I can tell you that if you were to elect President Obama, you know what you’re going to get. You’re going to get a repeat of the last four years. We just can’t afford four more years like the last four years.“

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UNFORTUNATELY, Romney seemed to run somewhat out of steam in the final 30 minutes of the debate and was at his weakest on what should have been one of his strongest points, when an audience member asked about the president’s role in the murders of our ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi due to the failure to provide adequate security for them.

Obama answered by claiming that he had described the attacks as “terrorism” the day after the attack during his remarks in the White House Rose Garden. But in fact, he used that occasion to attribute the attacks to an obscure YouTube video critical of the Muslim faith. He mentioned terrorism only in passing at the end of his remarks, which concluded with a boilerplate promise to combat “acts of terrorism.”

Obama’s brazen effort to distort his record on the controversy in his own favor left Romney momentarily flustered. Compounding things, debate moderator Candy Crowley chose that moment to play referee and ruled in the president’s favor. Only after the debate did she admit that she had erred, but by then it was too late.

As most Americans clearly remember, Team Obama (including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice) spent the weeks after the Benghazi attack adamantly insisting that they had been prompted by an obscure YouTube video, not by al-Qaida or by radical Islamists angered by Obama’s meddling in Libya.

And then, in a well-rehearsed bit of impromptu anger at the debate, Obama lashed out at Romney for having the impertinence to criticize a defense/foreign policy disaster. It was a jaw-dropping assertion from the leader of a party which spent most of the 2000s scathingly critical of George Bush’s handling of the 9/11 attacks and all that followed.

Again, Romney failed to note that glaring hypocrisy. Nor did he point out that the State Department had requested more security for the Benghazi consulate, but been turned down by Obama and/or Clinton.

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THE TWO CANDIDATES are to meet again next week in their third and final debate, on foreign policy. We hope Romney does a savvier job of pressing Obama on those points at that time. But that’s easier said than done when one’s opponent has proven capable and willing to stretch the truth to its outer limits.

Comments
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Say What
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October 20, 2012
Touche...what about 9/11/01 during the Bush admin.? Where are the comments on that? Romney is a flip flopper who's still outsourcing jobs thru Bain but hey, as long as he wins you all don't care, right? Pathetic!!!!
Samuel Adams
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October 18, 2012
Congratulations on this on-point editorial. It's the only one, so far, I've seen that mentions Obama's completely fake and transparent balonious reaction to the Libya question, whereapon he scrunches up his face and pretends to really, really care about those deployed in harms way for our country, mostly as a way to deflect questions about the cover up and his repeated lies to the American people and the U.N.

Remember, this is the guy who can't pronounce corpsemen (Navy personnel who are medics in the field). He said, "corpse man" at least twice in an under-reported speech.This is the guy who only greets coffins (as he repeatedly noted in the debate) when media is present. Otherwise, not so much love for fallen or wounded troops. This is the guy who's allowed VA claim backlogs to more than double during his watch, proposed to have combat vets pay for their own medical insurance and who will in fact raise military Tricare premiums by over 300 percent.

And then, in the middle of a terrorist attack, he fled to a campaign love-fest rather than meet with his national security advisors or allies like Israel. Obama watched (and probably directed) Biden to leak the identities of our operational SEAL teams, endangering them and their families, just so they could be the big shots after Osama was killed. The OPSEC Education Fund is a group of former special ops and CIA people who have formed a 501C-3 organization to try to speak out against Obama, who professes to be on their side when in reality he sympathizes with our enemies over and over.
MittFan1
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October 18, 2012
Well written and you covered all the points. Romney did very well. Although Romney missed an opportunity concerning the President's remark about Libya, with a retort from the moderator, this next debate he will be ready. Others noticed also, we never did get an answer to Kerry Ladka's question on why security was denied to Libya's U.S. Embassy. Still haven't.
TclabActuallyChicSor
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October 18, 2012
Why don't you and the MDJ now write an equally damning editorial/ letter on Bush's failure to react to to warnings not only in August but in the spring of 2001 of the attacks on 9/11, or the hideous lies that cost American lives for an unwarranted war in Iraq? There are multiple reports of protests outside the consulate before the well armed attack. Let the investigators do their jobs and you pack your right wing fantasies away till they finish.
anonymous
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October 21, 2012
Because Bush isn't running for president, Obama is.

And Obama should resign after this Bengazi fiasco. He, Hillary, Susan Rice and anyone else with dirty hands on this should resign.

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