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This morning, we woke up to the news from CBS that the Obama administration knew within 2 hours of the attack on our consulate in Benghazi that it was not sparked by a video, but was a confirmed terror attack.
Flashback to Monday’s debate: Bob Schieffer of CBS news asks the first question of the final Presidential debate on Benghazi.
The first segment is the challenge of a changing Middle East and the new face of terrorism. I’m going to put this into two segments, so you’ll have two topic questions within this one segment on that subject. The first question, and it concerns Libya, the controversy over what happened there continues. Four Americans are dead, including an American ambassador. Questions remain. What happened? What caused it? Was it spontaneous?
Was it an intelligence failure? Was it a policy failure? Was there an attempt to mislead people about what really happened?
The President’s response, emphasis added:
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, my first job as commander in chief, Bob, is to keep the American people safe, and that’s what we’ve done over the last four years. We ended the war in Iraq, refocused our attention on those who actually killed us on 9/11. And as a consequence, al-Qaida’s core leadership has been decimated.
In addition, we’re now able to transition out of Afghanistan in a responsible way, making sure that Afghans take responsibility for their own security, and that allows us also to rebuild alliances and make friends around the world to combat future threats. Now, with respect to Libya, as I indicated in the last debate, when we received that phone call, I immediately made sure that, number one, we did everything we could to secure those Americans who were still in harm’s way; number two, that we would investigate exactly what happened; and number three, most importantly, that we would go after those who killed Americans, and we would bring them to justice, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.
But I think it’s important to step back and think about what happened in Libya. Now, keep in mind that I and Americans took leadership in organizing an international coalition that made sure that we were able to — without putting troops on the ground, at the cost of less than what we spent in two weeks in Iraq — liberate a country that had been under the yoke of dictatorship for 40 years, got rid of a despot who had killed Americans.
And as a consequence, despite this tragedy, you had tens of thousands of Libyans after the events in Benghazi marching and saying, America’s our friend. We stand with them. Now that represents the opportunity we have to take advantage of. And you know, Governor Romney, I’m glad that you agree that we have been successful in going after al-Qaida, but I have to tell you that, you know, your strategy previously has been one that has been all over the map and is not designed to keep Americans safe or to build on the opportunities that exist in the Middle East.
He doesn’t answer the question. Re-read the whole exchange.
Flashback to debate #2, where an audience member asks a similar question. Candy Crowley ends up defending Obama as he tried to lie AGAIN.
Q: This question actually comes from a brain trust of my friends at Global Telecom Supply in Mineola yesterday. We were sitting around talking about Libya, and we were reading and became aware of reports that the State Department refused extra security for our embassy in Benghazi, Libya, prior to the attacks that killed four Americans. Who was it that denied enhanced security and why?
The President’s answer, emphasis added:
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, let me, first of all, talk about our diplomats, because they serve all around the world and do an incredible job in a very dangerous situation. And these aren’t just representatives of the United States; they’re my representatives. I send them there, oftentimes into harm’s way. I know these folks, and I know their families. So nobody’s more concerned about their safety and security than I am.
So as soon as we found out that the Benghazi consulate was being overrun, I was on the phone with my national security team, and I gave them three instructions. Number one, beef up our security and — and — and procedures not just in Libya but every embassy and consulate in the region. Number two, investigate exactly what happened, regardless of where the facts lead us, to make sure that folks are held accountable and it doesn’t happen again. And number three, we are going to find out who did this, and we are going to hunt them down, because one of the things that I’ve said throughout my presidency is when folks mess with Americans, we go after them.
Now, Governor Romney had a very different response. While we were still dealing with our diplomats being threatened, Governor Romney put out a press release trying to make political points. And that’s not how a commander in chief operates. You don’t turn national security into a political issue, certainly not right when it’s happening.
And people — not everybody agrees with some of the decisions I’ve made. But when it comes to our national security, I mean what I say. I said I’d end the war in Libya — in Iraq, and I did. I said that we’d go after al-Qaida and bin Laden. We have. I said we’d transition out of Afghanistan and start making sure that Afghans are responsible for their own security. That’s what I’m doing.
And when it comes to this issue, when I say that we are going to find out exactly what happened, everybody will be held accountable, and I am ultimately responsible for what’s taking place there, because these are my folks, and I’m the one who has to greet those coffins when they come home, you know that I mean what I say. Continue reading
Last night was the second Presidential debate at Hofstra University. In case you missed it, Mr. Liberty live blogged it in VodkaPundit style — with a healthy serving of Bourbon. Check out his comments, I think he did very well for blogging his first debate, all bias and bourbon aside. My own comments are below the useful links.
The Useful Links
Other Live Blogs from last night to check out:
Here are the video and the transcript.
Hot Air: The second debate; Update: Obama wins CBS insta-poll narrowly, but Romney wins big on economy
Ace: Romney Wins. “But on actual issues — the ones that will determine this election — Romney destroyed him.”
Instapundit: Who lost the debate? “America’s media.” UPDATE: Video: Crowley Admits Romney Was Right on Libya
American Thinker: Romney Wins the Three-Way Debate at Hofstra
Power Line: Essentially a draw, but whom does it help?
DaTechGuy: Round Two Short Term Draw Long Term Romney
Zero Hedge: Debate Post-Mortem: Jobs-4-Jeremy, Gang Bangers, And Candi(e)d Fact Checking
Polling & Panels:
The Right Scoop: Frank Luntz focus group OVERWHELMINGLY thought Romney was more presidential
Real Clear Politics: Luntz Focus Group Of Mostly Former Obama Voters Switch To Romney
Real Clear Politics: Second Part Of Luntz Focus Group On Second Presidential Debate
Weekly Standard: MSNBC’s Undecided Voter Panel Swayed by Romney
NEVADA VOTERS ON MITT ROMNEY: “CONFIDENT,” “WINNER,” “FORCEFUL,” “OUR NEXT PRESIDENT”
Oops! Luntz Focus Group Member on Obama: He’s Been Bullsh*tting the Public for 4 Years
NC independents say Romney won debate
Politico’s Mike Allen Fact Checks “Acts Of Terror” Comment
Obama spokeperson: Obama takes responsibility for Benghazi security failures
The media set an expectation for last night’s debate that was not met. Yes, Obama did better in attitude but the substance was still not there. Take away the attitude and you had an empty chair spewing campaign slogans in a jumbled order that made no sense. In almost every answer, Obama went for the class warfare tack.
1. Class warfare. 2. Repeat.
— Jim Treacher (@jtLOL)
Of note, the audience and questioners seemed less like undecided voters and more like Candy Crowley/ Team Obama hand-picked plants. Maybe they weren’t, but they sure seemed rather biased. So, I’m giving this debate to Romney since he not only had to debate Obama, but also the Moderator and the audience. After the debate, the Left had their panic attacks when they realized Obama fell short of what he needed to do last night, which of course included more death threats to Romney.
Romney won on points. He had the clear grasp of the issues and conveyed them very well. Mr. Liberty didn’t like the moments when Romney got a bit aggressive himself early on, but I didn’t mind that so much. For me, it was Romney establishing he wasn’t going to be Joe Bidened by Obama. Romney settled down and hit his stride not long after. Romney got in a favorite line of mine from the last debate and used ‘trickle down government’ to hit Obama and highlight again there are two paths in this election.
Key hits were on oil and gas, taxes and Benghazi, despite the moderator debating for Obama on that one. Romney would have done well to mention Obama just cut off drilling in half of Alaska during the gas prices part. Mitt landed strong blows to Obama on China. Could have been harder.
Romney slams Pres Obama for cutting by half the number of licenses and permits for drilling for oil and gas on federal lands.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller)
Most of the questions were alright, but one initially made me angry until Romney stepped in and aced it. That question essentially asked how Romney was different from George Bush. My first reaction: Uh, is Romney running against Obama or Bush?? Then I calmed down and realized this was Romney’s chance to take away the Bush card. Romney responded brilliantly:
President Bush and I are — are different people and these are different times and that’s why my five point plan is so different than what he would have done.
I mean for instance, we can now, by virtue of new technology actually get all the energy we need in North America without having to go to the — the Arabs or the Venezuelans or anyone else. That wasn’t true in his time, that’s why my policy starts with a very robust policy to get all that energy in North America — become energy secure.
Number two, trade — I’ll crack down on China, President Bush didn’t. I’m also going to dramatically expand trade in Latin America. It’s been growing about 12 percent per year over a long period of time. I want to add more free trade agreements so we’ll have more trade.
Number three, I’m going to get us to a balanced budget. President Bush didn’t. President Obama was right, he said that that was outrageous to have deficits as high as half a trillion dollars under the Bush years. He was right, but then he put in place deficits twice that size for every one of his four years. And his forecast for the next four years is more deficits, almost that large. So that’s the next area I’m different than President Bush.
And then let’s take the last one, championing small business. Our party has been focused too long. I came through small business. I understand how hard it is to start a small business. That’s why everything I’ll do is designed to help small businesses grow and add jobs. I want to keep their taxes down on small business. I want regulators to see their job as encouraging small enterprise, not crushing it.
And the thing I find the most troubling about Obama Care, well it’s a long list, but one of the things I find most troubling is that when you go out and talk to small businesses and ask them what they think about it, they tell you it keeps them from hiring more people.
My priority is jobs. I know how to make that happen. And President Bush has a very different path for a very different time. My path is designed in getting small businesses to grow and hire people.
One of the best parts for Romney last night was this exchange below. It was the best because it embodies what this election is really about and Romney delivers a masterful response that rings true. The RNC has already turned it into an ad.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnFxAwFMHGg&feature=em-uploademail-new]
Daily Caller: Romney on gun violence: Fast and Furious is ‘the greatest failure we’ve had’ [VIDEO]
Daily Caller: Romney spotlights Obama’s overseas investments, including in China [VIDEO]
Daily Caller: Obama, Romney go toe-to-toe over administration’s Libya response [VIDEO]
NRO: Obama, Romney, and the Libya Exchange
Obama was better this debate. He came out stronger and quickly figured out pulling the interrupting game like Biden did was going to get him face to face with Romney more than he liked. Obama did continually borrow Biden’s smirk – more than just once and at really inappropriate times. If you look past Obama’s demeanor, one realizes he never really answered the questions put to him but instead chose to attack Romney. This was no more clear than the last question where Obama cowardly hits Romney when he has no follow-up to respond instead of speaking about himself, which was the point of the question.
Obama, with the aid of Candy Crowley, chose to lie in a national debate on Benghazi — again. I don’t think anyone missed that one. Also, Obama never did answer the question posed on Benghazi; he walked away just like he did to the media pool at Kingsmill.
FACT: Obama went to bed knowing Ambassador Stevens had gone missing. Had to rest up for his fundraiser the next day. #DumbassDebate
— Bob Owens (@bob_owens)
Obama also had a few lines that I am sure will haunt him, one being that gas prices were low because we were on the edge of economic collapse. Really? Obama also flailed and tossed falsehoods about by bringing up the bailouts.
The President also said there are some jobs that are never coming back — wow, hope and change? Obama’s big problem remains that he has a crappy record and that he still has no second term agenda to speak of.
Obama didn’t answer the questions posed from start to finish, but instead engaged in avoidance demagoguery. Fine example – the final question was supposed to be about themselves, Romney answered it but Obama used it to attack Romney.
Obama takes the time on the misconceptions on himself to hit Romney #debate
— Peter Ingemi (@DaTechGuyblog)
Sometimes, when the President was dodging questions, he resorted to outright lies as he did with his mention of the AZ immigration law. We got a lot of attitude last night and not much substance; recycled slogans and empty platitudes delivered in a condescending lecturer cadence.
Obama: Gas Prices Were Low Because Economy On Verge Of Collapse – Video
Obama: There Are Jobs That Aren’t Coming Back – Video
President Obama Lied To The Nation About Libya Tonight
Breitbart: Flashback: Obama Wouldn’t Call Libya Attack ‘Terrorism’ On The View
Obama’s Tax Cut Hypocrisy
Debate 2012: Obama Cites Debunked Study on Romney’s Tax Plan
Crowley. Where to begin. Candy Crowley was so out of line, it was unbelievable. Crowley played the part of Joe Biden with the interruptions last night. The woman proved herself to be a partisan hack incapable of moderating without inserting herself into the debate as a participant. Her interception of the Benghazi question was incredibly stupid, arrogant, biased and on top of it all, factually WRONG. Crowley was forced to back track and admit Romney was right. Of note in the Obama tank, Chris Matthews has some walking back of his own to do. I sincerely hope she continues to be skewered over this one for a long time, because she deserves every second of it. Her second biggest obvious bit of hackery was cutting Romney off on Fast and Furious; giving a life-preserver to Obama as a result. Meanwhile, she did not redirect Obama on the same question with regards to the gun violence in his own hometown of Chicago nor did she explore the Fast and Furious topic with Obama. Crowley did not follow her own rules, neither did the FLOTUS.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P19O6R1zqBY&feature=em-uploademail-new]
Althouse: “The moderator will not… intervene in the debate except to acknowledge the questioners from the audience or enforce the time limits, and invite candidate comments during the 2 minute response period.”
Instapundit: CANDY CROWLEY INSERTED HERSELF INTO THE DEBATE, OUTRAGEOUSLY, to break up Romney’s most dramatic moments..
Weasel Zippers: CNN’s Crowley Allows Obama To Speak For 44:04, Romney Only 40:50
Gateway Pundit: Krauthammer: Candy Crowley Was Essentially Incorrect and Contaminated the Argument (Video)
Washington Free Beacon: Candy Crowley: He Was Right
Twitchy: And now: CNN walks back false “act of terror” fact check
Breitbart: Crowley Said Obama Took 17 Days to Claim Benghazi Was Terrorism
Breitbart: Crowley to Axelrod: Obama Never Said Benghazi Attack Was ‘Act of Terror’ Continue reading