On CNN's "State of the Union" on September 30, Candy Crowley asked Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) why he thought it took the administration 17 days after the Benghazi attacks to give a "sort of definitive statement" that terrorists orchestrated the attacks.
While moderating Tuesday's debate, Crowley forgot the timeline and facts she commanded two weeks earlier, and she inexplicably took President Obama's side when Obama and Romney were arguing about whether Obama referred to the Libya attacks as acts of terror on the day after.
Romney correctly said Obama did not refer to the Benghazi attacks as acts of terror the day after. When Obama boldly lied and claimed that he had done so, Romney looked startled. Then, Crowley jumped in and said Obama had indeed said the day after the Benghazi attacks that those acts were acts of terror.
Obama did say "acts of terror" on September 12, but he was not referring to the terrorists attacks that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, which the Obama administration tried to claim was the result of spontaneous protests in response to an obscure anti-Muhammad Internet film.
Hours later on Tuesday evening, Crowley went on CNN and said Romney "was right in the main, but he just chose the wrong word," but the damage was long done by then.
On September 30, Crowley said that 17 days after the attacks, on Friday September 28, "we got the administration's sort of definitive statement that this now looks as though it was a pre-planned attack by a terrorist group, and some of whom were at least sympathetic to al Qaeda."
"Why do you think and are you bothered that it has taken them this long from September 11th to now to get to this conclusion?," Crowley asked McCain.
After McCain answered that the Obama administration did not immediately want to admit it was a terrorist attack because it would interfere "with the depiction that the administration is trying to convey that al Qaeda is on the wane, that everything is fine in the Middle East," Crowley explicitly asked McCain if he thought the administration's actions were indeed "political."
"I think there are certain political overtones. How else -- how else could you trot out our U.N. ambassador to say this was a spontaneous demonstration?," McCain answered.
"Maybe they thought that at the time," Crowley said.
McCain then responded:
Five days later? That doesn't pass the smell test. It was either willful ignorance or abysmal intelligence to think that people come to spontaneous demonstrations with heavy weapons, mortars, and the attack goes on for hours.