Thursday, October 11, 2012

Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said Thursday that the “entire reason” the terrorist attack at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans has “become the political topic it is” is because Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan talk about the attack.

"...the entire reason this has become the political topic it is, is because of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan." - Washington Free Beacon

Cutter’s remarks drew immediate criticism from across the political spectrum. But the Obama spox quickly doubled down on Twitter, replying to a Buzzfeed researcher, “Romney has politicized Libya w/no plans of his own. POTUS’ priorities are getting facts & bringing terrorists to justice.”

...In fact, the Obama administration has faced serious criticism for its response to the events in Libya that resulted in the murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. President Obama notably accused Romney of “shooting first and aiming later” in his response to the terrorist attack in Benghazi. However, yesterday, ABC News White House correspondent Jake Tapper challenged White House press secretary Jay Carney, asking, “Given the fact that so much was made out of the video that apparently had absolutely nothing to do with the attack in Benghazi, that there wasn’t even a protest outside the Benghazi post, didn’t President Obama shoot first and aim later?”

Stephanie Cutter: Benghazi is only an issue because of Romney and Ryan - Allahpundit/HotAir
Timothy P. Carney: Using Big Bird to avoid issues backfires on Obama - Timothy P. Carney/Washington Examiner tpcarney
***UPDATED: CBS REFUTES*** Stephanie Cutter: Benghazi attack only matters politically because Romney/Ryan are politicizing it - The Right Scoop
Did Stephanie Cutter Just Win The Foreign Policy Debate For Romney? - Mediaite

One of the president’s chief spokespeople has now handed a weapon for the foreign policy debate on October 22 that he could never have dreamed of having. Cutter has created a victim of Romney – a martyr, accused of politicizing an event when he is, as I expect him to say, seeking answers about a mishandled tragedy for the American people. He will cite the grieving families of the victims of that attack and the millions of Americans who are now threatened by an emboldened and resurgent Al Qaeda. Romney will be righteous and he will be justified in that righteousness.

The Libya issue has already decimated how American’s view Obama’s handling of foreign affairs — once a strong suit of the president. Two months ago, the Chicago team probably thought they could walk through the foreign policy debate. Now, less than a week and a half before the final presidential debate, Obama’s own staff may have already lost it for him.

ROMNEY RESPONDS:The American People Deserve Straight Answers

Andrea Saul, Romney Campaign National Press Secretary, made the following statement in response to the Obama campaign’s comments on the terrorist attack in Libya:

“President Obama’s campaign today said that Libya is only an issue because of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. They’re wrong. The reason it is an issue is because, for the first time since 1979, an American ambassador was assassinated and President Obama’s foreign policy strategy of ‘leading from behind’ is failing. This administration has continually misled the American public about what happened in Benghazi and, rather than be truthful about the sequence of events, has instead skirted responsibility and dodged questions. The American people deserve straight answers about this tragic event and a president who can provide leadership, not excuses.”