Candy Crowley Gets Obama Off the Hook on Benghazi – Blunder or Bias?

One of the most anticipated topics in this week’s presidential debate was the terrorist attack on our U.S. consulate and murder of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya. Many analysts were curious how President Obama could possibly defend the way his administration cited phony players and motives in the attack (a spontaneous mob angered by a YouTube video), when they knew all along that it had been committed by terrorists as part of a coordinated effort on the anniversary of 9/11.

Though the topic didn’t come up until surprisingly late in the debate, it did come up. And when it did, Mitt Romney had a good opportunity to nail the president on his refusal to label the violence as an act of terrorism until weeks after the event. There was only one problem: Soon into Romney’s charge, debate moderator Candy Crowley substantiated President Obama’s assertion that, on the day after the attack, the president used the term act of terror when speaking about the incident. This clearly threw Romney off his game, and led to some quibbling back and forth between Obama and Romney before Crowley shut down the topic all together, and the president was effectively let off the hook. Viewers could read the relief in Obama’s eyes when the topic was changed. Who can blame him? He dodged quite a bullet.

Crowley has since taken a lot of heat from mostly conservative commentators, and I do think she certainly deserves some criticism. However, I don’t believe this was a case of media bias, as many are charging. I think she made the honest mistake, as consequential as it was, of trying to break down the semantics of the argument, instead of letting the candidates engage in the merits of the argument itself. For the most part, she did a fine job of moderating. Did she blow it on Benghazi? Yes. Was it a concerted effort to rescue President Obama? I don’t think so.

You see, President Obama did use the term “acts of terror” in his speech on September 12th. The problem is that he didn’t use it in reference to the attack in Libya. It was a passive reference, spoken in general terms to explain historical, American resolve in the face of tragedy. There’s certainly been a conscious effort by the Democrats to retroactively contort the president’s words into a condemnation of the people who carried out the Benghazi attack, but that’s not at all what he did.

The far more important issue was the conduct of the Obama administration over the two weeks following the attack. We now know that the U.S. government knew from the onset that the attack on our consulate was committed by terrorists. So what happened during those next two weeks? President Obama was asked directly and repeatedly if terrorism was to blame. Each time, he claimed that he didn’t know. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, was sent out on five Sunday morning talk-shows, five days after the attack, and repeated the story that the attacks stemmed from an overzealous mob. Both President Obama and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, blamed the infamous anti-Islam YouTube video for inciting the violence. None of that was true. There was no mob. There was no influence from the YouTube video because no one knew of its existence.

Yet, because Candy Crowley mangled the issue, President Obama escaped having to answer for any of that in Tuesday night’s debate. The media should not let the president off the hook for this, but if ABC News’ George Stephanopoulous is of any indication, they may very well do just that. Wednesday, on Good Morning America, Stephanopoulous repeatedly tried to convince guest Paul Ryan that the controversy is essentially now a dead issue for the GOP ticket, due to the debate exchange. I can’t say that I’m surprised.

To her credit, Crowley did concede, in an interview immediately following the debate, that Mitt Romney was right. She expressed misgivings in distracting from the issue, and she verified that the Obama administration did indeed avoid linking the Libya attack to terrorism by misdirecting the media and the public. Unfortunately, that’s not the news coming out of the debate.

Rather than a president publicly being held accountable for what was a clear cover-up of a serious failure, the post-debate headline is that all important question of what Mitt Romney really meant by “binders full of women.” How anyone can feel proud to wear the title of “Journalist” in this environment, I’ll never know.

Author Bio:

John Daly couldn't have cared less about world events and politics until the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks changed his perspective. Since then, he's been deeply engaged in the news of the day with a particular interest in how that news is presented. Realizing the importance of the media in a free, democratic society, John has long felt compelled to identify media injustices when he sees them. With a B.S. in Business Administration (Computer Information Systems), and a 16 year background in software and web development, John has found that his real passion is for writing. He is the author of the Sean Coleman Thriller series, which is available through all major retailers. John lives in Northern Colorado with his wife and two children. Like John on Facebook. Follow John on Twitter.
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  • JRC

    It is not the moderator’s job to aid either candidate….period.  It is the moderator’s job to move the debate along.  Even if one or the other is lying through their teeth it is not his/her job to point that out, it’s the other candidate’s job to do that.  

    • John Daly


  • Patrick

    MarioP is an absolute left-wing idiot who belongs as Chris Matthews’s co-host so they can talk about the thrill they get up their leg when the “Messiah” speaks. What a man crush this guy has on Obama. 

    • Mario__P

      What is that odor? I smell some serious desperation. Thank you for not having a solid counterargument. 

      • JohnDalyAuthor

         Uh Mario, You have yet to offer a valid argument for others to counter.

        • MarioP

          Good one! Just like Patrick, you can’t counter my arguments.

          And I do have a beef with you after I reread your last post about the Benghazi discussion. I didn’t catch the significance of your post until the second time I read it.

          In my post prior to yours, I stated:

          “Look at the video of his 9/12 speech, and he [Obama] clearly called the Benghazi attack an act of terror, as one of many acts of terror against the US.”

          I was stating that in his speech, Obama called the attach an act of terror.

          You took my quote and you twisted it to:

          “Yes, Obama’s statement was so clear and precise that not a single reporter who covered the event came away with the notion that Obama considered the incident a terrorist attack.”

          In my quote I was not saying what Obama and the reporters thought of the attack, but how Obama labeled the attack. You span my post into a completely different point. You, my friend, identified yourself as a complete jerk and I’m going to pay even closer attention to your blogs and posts. Scum like you should not be blogging, and I’ll do my best to expose you as an example of complete idiocy. Take care my friend.

      • JohnDalyAuthor

         Oh, and my reply to your rants below:

        >>What are you saying? Are you claiming that when giving his speech on
        9/12, Obama knew the attack in Benghazi was done by terrorists? And on
        9/12 there were reporters at the Rose Garden who knew terrorism was the
        cause of the attack? Obama, like all the reporters there, were not sure
        whether terrorists or violent protesters attacked in Benghazi,

        THAT UNDERCUTS YOUR ENTIRE ARGUMENT. You’ve been trying to  convince us this whole time that Obama did in fact attribute the attack to terrorism on 9/12. And that’s the same argument Obama pulled out of left field at the last debate.

        You see, the problem isn’t with what Obama said on on 9/12. The problem was with him later (at the debate) insinuating that he said something different than he really did on that day. 

        Long after the U.S. government knew the truth about Benghazi, the administration was giving us false information about who was behind it and what their motivations were.

        When Romney tried to criticize Obama for that at the debate, Obama insisted that he claimed it was terrorism on 9/12. HE DIDN’T! That’s the entire argument.

        >>Therefore, it was wise to use
        the term TERROR, rather than TERRORISM, in the speech.

        lol. So he could later weasel-out by insisting he said something that he didn’t. Yes, what brave leadership that is! I’m so glad you admire that.

        >>You are comparing me to a conspiracy theorist?

        Yes, I am. You’re doing exactly what conspiracy theorists do:  Selective citation and retroactive manipulation of the facts. You might as well be a birther.

        • Mario__P

          “THAT UNDERCUTS YOUR ENTIRE ARGUMENT. You’ve been trying to  convince us this whole time that Obama did in fact attribute the attack to terrorism on 9/12.”

          What? I did? Was that my point the entire time? My point all along was that Obama labeled the attack an “act of terror”, and that is NOT the same as terrorism. You are again mixing the words TERROR and TERRORISM. I’m not going to rewrite everything the second time; all you have to do is reread me previous posts. And I REALLY hope Romney will be mixing those two terms tonight, so he will be put in his place.

          “Long after the U.S. government knew the truth about Benghazi, the administration was giving us false information about who was behind it and what their motivations were.”

          You mean government as in ANYONE working for the federal government, or as in the administration? Sure some CIA agents had their thoughts about the attack, but the intel from CIA to the administration called it a spontaneous attack as a result from the Cairo protests. It doesn’t matter what some agents thought it was 24 hours after the attack, what matters is what the administration was handed to read.

          And here you go again:
          “When Romney tried to criticize Obama for that at the debate, Obama insisted that he claimed it was terrorism on 9/12. HE DIDN’T! That’s the entire argument.”

          Obama insisted that? Is that what Obama said? Boy, you sure can’t absorb the dialogue from a debate. During the debate Obama was toying with Romney once Obama realized Romney wasn’t aware the term “act of terror” was in that 9/12 speech, and to make things worse for himself, Romney later mixed the two terms. If Romney doesn’t get his act together for tonight, Benghazi will be a fun topic for the Democrats.

      • Patrick

        I apologize for my name-calling you yesterday, I was in a bad mood, but I have no excuse. I should have shown you more respect than I did. In any case, I disagree with your position, but I shall leave it to others to dismantle it lest I be guilty of behaving like a sewer rat on the internet once again.

        • Mario__P

          Thank you for the apology. I’m used to such name-calling on this board. I await such dismantling. 

  • VermontAmerican

    Not an act of bias, John? Here’s what Crowley accomplished (in your words): “Yet, because Candy Crowley mangled the issue, President Obama escaped having to answer for any of that.” That goes toward her MOTIVES. Also, “To her credit, Crowley did concede… immediately following the debate.” To her credit? That she conceded so quickly Romney was right is further evidence that she knew what she was doing. She only admitted her mistake to mollify those of her peers who might otherwise have looked askance at what she did, thus rallying them to her defense.

  • DOOM161

     I haven’t watched Fox News in years, but I can tell you that protesters don’t carry RPGs or attack in waves.

  • DOOM161

    Here’s the thing: Let’s assume Obama called it an act or terror the day after the attack.  That would mean that not only did he lie about it for two weeks, but that he flip flopped to do it.  To use the president’s new favorite condition, he just might have a bad case of Romnesia.

    • Mario__P

      What do you mean “let’s assume Obama called it an act of terror the day after the attack”? Look at the video of his 9/12 speech, and he clearly called the Benghazi attack an act of terror, as one of many acts of terror against the US.

      And since there is a difference between an “act of terror” and an “act of terrorism”, Obama didn’t flip flop on what he called it. Every act of terrorism is an act of terror, but not vice versa. A murderer who leaves his victims decapitated performs acts of terror but not acts of terrorism.

      • John Daly

        lol. This is a Chris Matthews crush if I’ve ever seen one.

        Yes, Obama’s statement was so clear and precise that not a single reporter who covered the event came away with the notion that Obama considered the incident a terrorist attack.

        You know why they didn’t? Because Obama gave them no reason to.

        And you know we’re right on this Mario. You’re so desperate to defend your savior that you’ll say anything. It’s embarrassing.

        You remind me of a former poster on here who actually tried to defend Obama’s “57 states” gaffe (and that’s all it was – an innocent gaffe that required no defense) by trying to convince me that there truly were 57 U.S. states if you included the various unincorporated territories like Puerto Rico.

        I don’t know why people like you and him can’t accept that you can still like Obama, without constantly running interference for every one of his screw-ups.

        Cutting and pasting a phrase from a speech, and completely removing it from its context to suggest something that simply isn’t true, is what conspiracy theorists do. The whole 9/11 Truther movement is based off a similar concept.

        Is that really the kind of company you want to keep?

        • Mario__P

          You stated:
          “Yes, Obama’s statement was so clear and precise that not a single reporter who covered the event came away with the notion that Obama considered the incident a terrorist attack.”

          What are you saying? Are you claiming that when giving his speech on 9/12, Obama knew the attack in Benghazi was done by terrorists? And on 9/12 there were reporters at the Rose Garden who knew terrorism was the cause of the attack? Obama, like all the reporters there, were not sure whether terrorists or violent protesters attacked in Benghazi, although they could have had their thoughts on it. Therefore, it was wise to use the term TERROR, rather than TERRORISM, in the speech. I’m not covering anything up. I’m using common sense to justify why the word TERROR was used in that speech. You’re the one who is being irrational, is mixing the two words, and is drawing to hasty conclusions.

          Yes, the Right is so correct with their position on this issue, that during tomorrow’s debate Romney will mix the two terms interchangeably. I sure hope he will.

          You are comparing me to a conspiracy theorist? The conspiracy theorist is accusing someone else of a conspiracy theory?

  • terry


  • halifax


    No one else looked at it either.

  • jujubeebee

    What bothered me was the President ordering Candy “Get the transcript”.   He had given Martha and Candy instructions to go to another topic or question but this was more direct.   It was as if they both were ready with the transcript just for this question.   Obama has used play with words for 4 years now.   This was the case with what he said on 9/12/12.
    He was using for this question to distract the public with yet another lie.   Ms. Rice went on 5 Sunday programs talking about a video, and Hillary talked also about the video.   Obama was hiding behind all these people and making himself seem unresponsible or trying to explain all of it by acting like he knew it all along.   It is troubling that he either doesn’t have a clue like he would like us to believe or that he intentionally mislead us through other people he was hiding behind.   What is even more troubling was that Candy Crowley was ready to jump in to help him out in a matter of seconds with a transcript.   It smells of a set up or a coordination between the moderator and Obama.  
    Obama is smart enough to play on words, vote “present”, lie, and hide behind others to take the fall for him.   He may be better on a teleprompter but he is smart enough to protect himself.  He takes credit when things go his way but hides, lies and distorts when it doesn’t.
    Romney better be ready to hit hard on Monday because we can be sure all the moderators are in coordination with Obama after this last exposition.

    • Moira

       If you really watch the debate. Obama and Candy exchange a look and then she jumps in with this little known fact or nonfact. Like she was ready. weird. I wish we could get at least one truly independent moderator and not the CNN, NBC, ABC, NPR type who have long been in the tank for this administration.  I think Romney needs to get a few points of credit just for trying to be in front of this biased group.

      • MarioP

        Have you ever exchanged a look with a stranger when a third person  says something completely wrong? 

        • Moira

          Really watch it again.. Obama seems almost relaxed.  He nearly signals Candy as if.. this is it.  I am not a conspirator type of person. but watch again and see the total interactions.  Also it was odd to me as a viewer that this moderator or any moderator would be so up on and ready to respond about a small statement within a speech that happened – what – 2 – 3 weeks ago.. interesting.  I never saw this speech.  Would not have known this little fact.

          Of course now it has come out that in the context of the speech it is pretty difficult to claim that President Obama actually labeled this act a direct act of terrorism within itself.  He apparently was speaking in a broader sense and bringing this act into the overall view.

          Thank You,

          Moira Cleary
          28014 Damar Ct
          Canyon Country, CA 91351
          661-299-5184 – phone + answering machine + fax

          • MarioP

            No one is claiming Obama called the violence against Chris Stevens anything other than an “act of terror” during his 9/12 speech. Obama used that term to address all the acts of terror against the US, including the Benghazi one, since with that speech he was responding to the Libyan incident. It took the administration a couple of weeks to conclude the act was actually an “act of terrorism”, even though some news networks within days of the attack were reporting different version of the event than what the administration has initially reported. The facts needed to be investigated and verified before the white house would change their version. Please don’t confuse the two different terms, the “act of terror” vs. the “act of terrorism”, like Romney did in the second debate.

      • DOOM161

         Republicans approve these moderators.  So as long as they let it happen, it will continue to happen.

  • Brandt Hardin

    This was all cooked up over at FOX.  The talking heads guarding the inhabitants of Bullsh*t Mountain from rejoining the world of the sane just won’t budge.  Fox News is a propaganda machine which dumbs down America by the day through disinformation and their slanted agendas.  See their anchors spewing forth feces from their mouths in my visual homage to the network on my artist’s blog at

  • halifax

    Gosh, if it’s just a “mistake,” let it go. Never mind that an election could turn on the low attention voters that could be persuaded by an apparent “gaffe” by Romney. After all, you know Candy, and might see her at a cocktail party sometime. It would be awkward to have meet her eyes after calling her a leftist hack. Heck, covering for her might even get you invited on the show sometime!
    I wonder if her question selection, favoring the President, her constant intervention on the President’s behalf, and her constant interrupting and shutting off Romney when he was trying to make an important point, were “mistakes,” too.
    Funny how none of the “mistakes” by the leftist media ever break the Republican’s way. Funny how Candy didn’t make the “mistake” of fact checking Obama’s outright lie about Arizona’s SB1070 (“Part of the Arizona law said that law enforcement officers could stop folks because they suspected maybe they looked like they might be undocumented workers and check their papers.”) or any of his numerous other outrageous lies.
    Crowley ran interference and covered for Obama the entire night. To pretend otherwise is to lie to your readers.

  • Ratspinkie

    Mr. Daly,

    I thought the entire Benghazi segment felt “off” but couldn’t put my finger on it.  The next day, I found this on the web:

    Was Ms. Crowley incompetent or complicit?

    Things that make you say, “Hmmmm.”

  • lazywolf

    I’m glad to see that someone is writing the truth.   Noting your self deprecation; I think you
    might be the best journalist in the country. 
    And you have the honor to stand behind your article in this forum….a
    very rare thing.

    • John Daly

      Thanks for the compliment. I appreciate it.

  • GlenFS

    This is no dead issue, it will be front and center focus Monday night and until then a whole nation of people who witnessed weeks of Obama administration denial and obfuscation heard him offer a feeble lie based on a nuance.  Just let that continued deception percolate for a few days.

    • John Daly

      I certainly hope you’re right.

  • Cindy

    Why did  Crowley think she was in the debate.  This was suppose to be a debate between Romney and Obama.  Her interruption on Benghazi clearly showed who’s side she is on and clearly which party she is going to vote for.

  • MarioP

    Instead of blaming Crowley for the collapse of Romney’s Benghazi attack on Obama, how about the Right take some accountability and blame their candidate. Just before Romney started his criticism of the administration’s handling of the incident in Libya, Obama stated that the day following the attack in Benghazi he used the phrase “act of terror” in his speech. That comment raised a flag in the unprepared Romney’s mind, and he went on the offensive. Romney wasn’t aware that Obama’s speech on 9/12 actually used the words “act of terror”, and he tried to capitalize on that. Romney set himself up for failure. When he wasn’t getting anywhere with his argument with Obama, he turned to Crowley, either for assistance or some reassurance that he was correct on his argument. Right then Obama asked for the transcript of his speech, both Obama and Crowley knew Romney was making a false accusation. Romney was lucky Crowley changed the subject on him, because Romney would have been soaking in his mistake for that much longer. Romney was on the offensive, calling out both Obama and Crowley on the issue, and when he failed getting his point across, it’s not Romney’s fault? Romney was all flustered and confused, and I’m sure he was all relieved when Crowley changed the topic on him.
    Crowley could have said that she didn’t know the facts, or couldn’t comment, on the “act of terror” argument, but that would have not deterred Romney from continuing his attack and extended Romney’s false accusation that much longer. For the obvious reason, Romney did not protest the introduction of a new topic.

    • Paul Courtney

      Mario, let’s put aside your mis-parsing of Obama’s  statement (he claimed to have called “this an act of terror” on 9/12, but he didn’t, as even Crowley later admitted), you fault Romney for being unaware of 9/12 statement.  I’ll even put that aside (I happen to think Romney was trying to make apt point that Obama did NOT say “this” and Crowley was saying he did), problem you have is that Obama’s own people (Hillary, Rice, Carney) seem to have spent the past month being unaware of it.  If he knew on 9/12 it was act of terror, why was he himself saying, repeatedly, “we don’t know that”?  If “we don’t know that” is true, why did he say it was act of terror on 9/12?  Pres. is twitching on his own petard and it’s killing you that even MSM is starting to cover it.

      • MarioP

        I, and pretty much everyone else, sees a difference between the term “act of terror” and “act of terrorism”. The term “act of terror” can be applied when addressing ANY terror act, which may, or may not, be performed by terrorists. The “act of terrorism” is strictly reserved for addressing terrorists. It was wise for Obama to use the “act of terror” term in his speech on 9/12, since it would have been too premature to draw a conclusion before verifying what has actually taken place in Benghazi. (Romney should take note of that.) Obama addressed all the acts of terror against the US in his 9/12 speech, including the Benghazi one, with that term. 

        During the last debate, Obama reminded everyone that he used “act of terror” in the speech the day after the attack. But Romney, unaware that the term was actually in Obama’s speech, tried to first accuse Obama of lying during the debate, and then Romney spun it into terror = terrorism. 
        The administration was initially told one story about the Benghazi attack, and probably due to media reporting a different version, the administration needed to reinvestigate the incident and then changed their conclusion. I see nothing wrong with that.

        But hey, Romney will have 90 minutes to be discussing world issues with Obama on Monday. Romney will probably bring up Benghazi, but he will be very careful not to again get confused about the facts. He will state that the administration didn’t provide the requested security, he will mention how violent the Arab Spring has become, and he will even emphasize that the administration has changed their story. But I doubt he will start again attacking the president about the terminology, and what he did and did not say. I predict, if Romney will keep digging into the Benghazi topic, we will again walk away as the loser on that issue, just like the Republican candidates have during the last two debates.

        • John Daly

          Mario, if I thought that you actually believed the fantasy-land scenario that you’re trying to sell us, I’d seriously worry about you.

          This is no different that Bill Clinton challenging the meaning of the word “is”.

          Only fierce Obama supporters like yourself are going to suspend reality to try and bail out your man this way. To any reasonable person who watches the video, it’s as clear as day.

          • MarioP

            John, being a blogger, I would expect a more specific response from you, but all you managed to write were a few vague lines. This wasn’t the first time I was disappointed by your writings. 

            I suggest you watch the video of the 9/12 speech again, so you’ll realize that Obama was talking about all the “acts of terror” against the US, which obviously include the Benghazi attack. Why else would Obama bring up “acts of terror” in his speech, which was addressing the Benghazi attack? Why didn’t he  state “no natural disaster will …” or “no tragedy will…” Anyone who can’t make the connection between the “acts of terror” term and the Benghazi attack in Obama’s speech is trying too hard to intentionally mislead, or if the disconnect is unintentional, should stick to more elementary arguments.

        • Paul Courtney

          Mario:  Pretty long response to direct question you never answer.  “Act of Terror” vs. “Act of Terrorism” analysis isn’t even a good evasion.  If, as you say, Obama addressed all acts of terror, including Benghazi, day after attack, why did he, Carney, Rice repeatedly say “we don’t know that.”?  Then you turn around and say his determination on 9/12 that it was act of terror was “premature”?  This topic is sending your guy to the six figure speaking circuit in a few months, where you can shower him with adoration to your heart’s content, and all our ambassadors can feel a bit more safe.  

          • MarioP

            Boy, you sure are dense. You still don’t understand the difference between an “act of terror” and an “act of terrorism”. 

            Anyone, you or I, could have called what happened to ambassador Stevens an ACT OF TERROR as soon as we learned of his fate. But because there was no conclusive intelligence about how and why the violence occurred,  the administration was saying they were not sure whether the attack was premeditated or preplanned. What would have been “premature” would be calling the violence an ACT OF TERRORISM before the intelligence was verified. 
   make sure you wear you badge at all times.  

  • wally

    I think all the networks that broadcasted the debate should have to run Crowley’s retraction and follow-up. And I don’t mean in the latter part of the news. It should be the opening story!

  • Bruce A.

    Crowleys comment was biased, unprofessional, unethical.  I would not call it a blunder since I believe she was actually helping the Presdents sagging campaign, it was intentional.  Where is the Debate Commission during all of this? 

  • Editorialimpressions

    Candy Crowly of CNN, debate moderator, did not pull a blunder trying to side with Obama; she was unethical.  she knew it ! She should flush her head in a comode !!!

  • Nukeman33

    So he said no acts of terror would shake the resolve this great nation, but wasn’t actually referring to the thing they were having a press conference about? 

    What a load. 

    • John Daly

      No reporters covering the speech on 9/12 derived what you are trying to say was obvious.  Why not? Because it was a passive, generic comment about American resolve.

      Context matters. You can’t just point to a phrase that was used and act as if the context is unimportant. You’re only fooling yourself with such nonsense.

      When Jay Carney came out many days later and said that the attack was terrorism, that was headline news. Why? Because it was the first time reporters heard that claim from the white house.

      When asked point-blank by Univision, Letterman, and the View, if the attack was a terrorist attack, Obama said he didn’t know… and continued to point blame to the YouTube video that he absolutely knew had nothing to do with the attack.

      If the Bush administration pulled such a tactic, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be defending him right now.

    • Paul Courtney

      Kindly address your comment to Hillary, Susan Rice, Jay Carney and Joe Biden, they all fell for the “load”.

  • Dee Rosenberger

    Its Cnn BIAS.. Crowley was a disaster

  • Alexia McCormick

    I really enjoyed your true representation of this event. It’s so rare to find real journalism anymore. Thank you.

    • John Daly

      Thank you.

  • Bellringer

    Candy Crowley blew it for Barack Obama, people can see right though the phoney Candy Crowley….GOOD BYE BARACK OBAMA.

  • G Kevin Mark

    It’s interesting reading pro-Romney media’s efforts that try to spin
    President Obama’s speech in the Rose Garden on 9/12. They’re trying
    to say that when he said “No acts of terror will ever shake the
    resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the
    light of the values that we stand for” that he was talking only
    about the 9/11 attacks, because two paragraphs before, he mentioned
    the 9/11 attacks.
    So, I looked up the transcript. Here it is on Fox News’ own website:

    it for yourself. The whole damn speech was about the Benghazi attack.
    From the very beginning of the speech, he was referring to the risks
    that the diplomatic corps takes in general, and to Chris Stevens
    specifically. Immediately after the sentence about “no acts of
    terror”, he goes on to say: “Today we mourn four more
    Americans who represent the very best of the United States of
    America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is
    done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be
    done.” (Fox News adds a paragraph break after the “No Acts
    of Terror” sentence, which they leave hanging alone, creating
    the impression that the follow-up is unrelated. Interesting to note
    that this is the only time they decide to break the rules of good
    writing style, which generally demand that paragraphs be more than
    one sentence.) So,
    the fact that he ties in the anniversary of 9/11 that we just
    celebrated into a speech about an “act of terror” committed
    in Benghazi does NOT, in no way, make his “no acts of terror”
    comment unrelated to the attack in Benghazi.

    was an 801 word speech. 72 of those words, less than 10%, were about
    the 9/11 attacks. The rest were about Chris Stevens, the risks and
    dangers facing our diplomats, and this attack specifically. The key
    phrase “no acts of terror” did not immediately follow the
    comments about the 9/11/2001 attacks, and can, in no reasonable way,
    be construed to ONLY refer to the attacks 11 years ago. If anything,
    bringing up the 2001 attacks in the context of this speech reinforces
    the fact that the President considers the Benghazi attack to be an
    “act of terror”.

    • cmacrider

      Kevin:  Unfortunately, that’s not the explanation that Jay Carney gave for the Rose Garden speech when asked whether the President was characterizing Benghazi as a terrorist attack contrary to the story the rest of the Administration was spinning.  He clearly said that he was NOT characterizing the Benghazi incident as a terrorist attack in his Rose Garden speech.  We would have to accept Jay Carney, because as you know, he is in regular contact with the President and Carney would never put a spin on anything just for political gain.

    • John Daly

      I did read it, and your wrong. I never said in my column that his comments were about 9/11. His comments were about American resolve in the wake of tragedy.

      Throwing out the term “acts of terror”, in a passive context like he did, was in no way a declaration that the Benghazi attack was a terrorist act. It could have just as well been used to describe  the fictitious mob story that the administration went with for a while.

      You’re doing yourself a huge disservice if you’re honestly trying to convince yourself of what you wrote above. Not a single reporter who covered the 9/12 rose garden speech came away understanding that the president had attributed the attack to terrorism. There’s a reason for that. And they certainly couldn’t have been talked into believing as such after the administration spent the next two weeks doing their best to pin blame on a fake mob angered by a YouTube video.

      • Darque Wing

        Talk about a “journalist” trying to interject their own opinions into the subject – and poorly.

        If you’re trying to convince yourself that it’s okay to look at that transcript with the words “act of terror” and pretend that he didn’t say it, then you’re the one doing the disservice to yourself, Mr. Daly – and the readers who rely on an ostensibly professional writer to report the truth.  If the reporters can walk away from the president saying “act of terror” and think he didn’t say it, that doesn’t mean he didn’t say it – it means the reporters are very bad at their job.  Like you.

        “Waaah!  It was in passive context!”  Wow.  That’s actually even more disingenuous than “Waaah!  He was talking about some OTHER act of terror!”

        • John Daly

          I’m a journalist? That’s news to me.

          I’m an opinion writer. Opinion writers inject their opinions into their work.

          The reality is that ANYONE who goes back and watches that video KNOWS that Obama did not label the Libya attack an “act of terror.” It simply wasn’t what he said.

          By your logic, I could take any random phrase from that speech and attribute IT to the Lybia attack… and it would make just as much sense as what you’re trying to say.

          Sorry, but intellectual honesty wins out here.

          • Darque Wing

            You’re saying that the speech he gave on the occasion of four dead Americans actually wasn’t about the four dead Americans – and you claim intellectual honesty?

            I bet you still don’t know why Biden was laughing at Ryan, too.

      • Johnny Deadline

        *Sigh* Another Democrat pseudo-lawyer president, another episode of defining what the meaning of the word “is” is.  These guys split more hairs to mask their corruption and incompetence than Beverly Hills’ Juan-Juan salon.  Four more years of this kind of malfeasance and we’ll all be playing Scrabble in our alphabet soup while waiting in the unemployment line.

    • dejardin

      Look, here’s the problem: the President claimed in the debate that he called the Benghazi attacks an act of terror in his Rose Garden speech on 9/12/12:

      Obama (from the Hofstra debate): “The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the
      American people in the world that we are going to find out exactly what
      happened. ***That this was an act of terror*** and I also said that we’re going to
      hunt down those who committed this crime.”

      Romney then responded to the exact formulation Obama used:

      Romney (from the Hofstra debate): “I — I think interesting the president just said something which — which is
      that on the day after the attack he went into the Rose Garden and said that ***this
      was an act of terror***.”

      Now the President *did not* specifically say that the Benghazi attack was an act of terror in the Rose Garden. At best, his remarks were ambiguous. So how are we best to interpret them? *Context*. What did the Administration say in the following weeks, and how did everyone, including the media, understand them? They repeatedly blamed the attack on the infamous Youtube video, and declined to say that it was an act of terror until Obama’s Press Secretary Jim Carney called it an act of terror on 9/20/12. And just look at what the major news outlets said *after* Carney finally called the attack an act of terror:

      ABC: ““For the first time, White House press secretary Jay Carney publicly characterized the deadly assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, as a ‘terrorist attack’.”

      CNN: “The White House, for the first time Thursday, declared the attack that killed Stevens and three other people a terrorist attack.”

      L.A. Times:” The White House for the first time Thursday described the Sept. 11 assault on the U.S. Consulate in Libya as a terrorist attack that may have involved militants linked to Al Qaeda.”

      Those aren’t exactly Republican surrogates.

      This isn’t complicated.

    • Paul Courtney

      Fine, he said that, and he meant it.  You were probably pretty busy correcting all the Ds who denied it for a month, sending your link to them.  The best part of this is, had Obama simply stuck to his 9/12 narrative, this story may have never got going.  Rs pointing to all the other problems (June bombing, cries for help) could be comfortably ignored by press ready to blame Romney for causing disunity.  This self-inflicted wound may prove fatal.

  • cmacrider

    John:  I suggest you are being a bit too generous to Candy Crowley in suggesting her Democratic leanings did not play a part in her interjection.  Given that CNN analyze every syllable ever uttered by Romney (in order to cast him in an unfavourable light) Crowley must have been aware of the press conference in which Jay Carney was questioned about the Rose Garden speech.  When asked why the President had called Benghazi a “terrorist attack” in his Rose Garden address when all the rest of his administration were spinning the “video/spontaneous demonstration” story, Carney went to great lengths to explain that the President did not characterize Benghazi as a terrorist attack in his Rose Garden speech.  Her intervention to shut down the debate discussion on the Benghazi topic, would never have occurred if the President was a Republican.  Additionally a plain reading of the text of that Rose Garden speech shows that Obama did not, in that speech, in fact characterize Benghazi as a terrorist attack.

    As a Canadian, I have some familiarity with snow ….. and John …..the mere suggestion that this is anything but an elaborate snow job by the Administration from start to finish defies common sense.

    BTW:  I’ve started a new lobbying group called “Sununu for Ambassador to the U.N.” If you’d like to support this movement let me know.

    • John Daly

      I obviously can’t tell exactly what was going through Crowely’s mind, so it’s possible you’re right. From watching how she handled the situation, though, I’m not convinced it was as much bias as it was her being misinformed. I don’t dispute that she blew it. If she wasn’t 100% sure if the truth, she shouldn’t have tried to fact check the issue.

      I don’t disagree that the administration put on a snow job. You’re absolutely right about that.

      • Kathie Ampela


        If a reporter from a major news outlet like CNN, the news outlet who is in possession of Amb. Chris Stevens’ journal by the way, (instead of the FBI…another question that hasn’t been answered) doesn’t see the inconsistencies in the adminisration’s story in the weeks following the attack in Benghazi, she should be fired for incompetence. The Secretary of State condemned the YouTube trailer at the memorial service for the 4 dead americans linking it DIRECTLY to the attack in Benghazi. The President of the United States made the same connection, between the video and the attack  in Benghazi at the memorial and NUMEROUS televsion appearances AND the U.N. in the month of September. All this was AFTER Obama made a generic reference to “acts of terror” in the Rose Garden on 9/12.  Was Candy Crowley on vacation the month of September? I read your columns and I usually agree with you, however  you’re way off on this, I’m sorry.

        • John Daly

          I don’t discount that she made a big blunder. If you watch the tape, she was trying to clarify the semantics of what was said in that 9/12 speech instead of letting the men debate the larger point. And you’re right… Her clarification was even wrong.

          I just think it’s a case of her overstepping her bounds as a moderator and botching what should have been a moment she wasn’t a part of.

          Did her liberal sensibilities motivate her get defensive and intervene in what Romney was saying? It’s certainly possible. But I still don’t think it was a deliberate effort to help the president (even though, that’s really what it did).

          We agree that she screwed up badly.

          • Moira

             If you really look at the debate – Obama and Crowley exchange a fast glance and then she jumps in and makes her statement.Like she was ready..

          • trmt

            Moira is right, as is Jujubee above.  Even John Stewart recognized that Pres. Obama was intentionally laying a trap for Gov. Romney in the exchange when he said, “Please proceed.” Then when he directed Crowley to “get the transcript,” he sprang a trap that he and his campaign had carefully laid.

            Either the campaign supplied the transcript to Crowley, and she gobbled it up, or Crowley let it be known to the president somehow (intentionally or not) that she had the transcript at hand.  How else could he so confidently call upon her to get it?

            Crowley was obviously uncomfortable at how blatant the trap was, and how apparent it must be that she was the tool being used by the president to spring it.  That’s why she stammered so much and the president was able to follow up with, “can you say it a little louder!”  Michelle then led off a cheering section among the supposedly undecided voters.

            I fault the governor for not pressing the point, though.  He should have said: “Candy, even you can’t believe that the president was saying that it was terrorists who planned an attack in that speech, can you?” That would have shown how she had placed herself as a participant in the debate instead of a moderator. But hindsight is 20-20.

            You or Bernie could do the public a great service by exposing this campaign tactic to deceive the voters for what it was.

          • MarioP

            trmt (below),

            The only way Obama’s “acts of terror” trap could have been preplanned with Crowley was if Obama was somehow aware Romney didn’t know those words were used in that 9/12 speech. Who would have predicted the Romney was not aware those words we used in that speech? Did Obama clear Romney’s mind of that speech? How many more traps were there to be set on Romney who was unaware of other statements? Really? Seriously? Unbelievable!

            I agree Obama was letting Romney continue his attack so Romney can set himself up for a failure, but that trap only started being set when Romney opened his mouth about “acts of terror”.

            And that 9/12 speech transcript… Crowley had a copy of the transcript in her hand, is that what she was holding? Are you sure of that? Or was that just one of her pieces of paper she just picked up under duress, because both debaters were speaking to her about the topic at once? Obama called for the transcript as a joke. Crowley, in an unprofessional move for a moderator, knew Obama used the term “acts of terror” in his 9/12 speech and she agreed with him. Her agreement with Obama, and later with Romney, were the only unwarranted actions from any of the three persons during their quick exchange about that “acts of terror” discussion.

            Boy, talk about a conspiracy theory aficionado.