ROMNEY: I -- I think it's 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.Here is what the president actually said in his Rose Garden remarks: “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.”
OBAMA: That's what I said.
ROMNEY: You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, it was an act of terror.
It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you're saying?
OBAMA: Please proceed governor.
ROMNEY: I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.
OBAMA: Get the transcript.
CROWLEY: It -- it -- it -- he did in fact, sir. So let me -- let me call it an act of terror...
OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy?
Since Mitt Romney was never trained as a trial lawyer, maybe it's unfair to criticize him for his poor technique which allowed an answer to his own question to blow up in his face like that (the trial lawyer's worst nightmare). On the other hand, it does seem fair to criticize Romney for his disrespectful attitude toward the president, for his poor preparation and lack of attention to detail, and for his tendency to make sweeping statements without much regard for the truth.
I want to say something else about this whole Libya controversy, because it strikes me as unbelievably hypocritical for the Republicans in Congress, their party's presidential candidate, and their media allies to be trying to create a scandal out of the tragic murder of our ambassador in Benghazi.
When more than 200 marines were killed in their barracks in 1983 by a terrorist truck bomb, that was viewed as some kind of mishap that just happened, and President Reagan responded by simply turning tail and pulling out of Lebanon. We didn't see the Republicans in Congress calling for an inquiry even though the administration had received warnings that our forces were sitting ducks out in the Beirut Airport. And after nearly 3000 Americans were killed on September 11, 2001, we were supposed to understand that as some kind of out-of-the-blue event, and it's still viewed as almost unpatriotic to suggest that the Bush administration should perhaps have considered beefing up airport security in response to fairly specific warnings about Al Qaeda plans for some kind of action on U.S. soil.
But when our ambassador and others were killed in Libya (in the consulate in Benghazi by the way, not in the embassy), the same Republicans who want to cut funds for embassy security, are ready to charge the administration with criminal negligence for failing to prevent the attack, and for a slightly confused response to it. This is not a dignified response to a tragedy; it is a cheap political attack. And it serves Mitt Romney right that part of his cheap attack blew up in his face.