On the May 19 broadcast of CNN’s State of the Union, host Candy Crowley said that Obama was late in identifying the attacks in Benghazi as terrorism quite contrary to what she said during the Presidential debates late last year.
As Crowley questioned White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer, she pressed him on whether or not the President was aware of the Benghazi talking points being written and re-written by the Department of State and the intel community, re-writes that eventually eliminated any mention that the attacks were perpetrated by terrorists.
In reply, Pfeiffer blithely told Crowley that “no president” would get involved in writing talking points like that.
Crowley went on to point out that Obama was late in calling it terror saying, “in an interview on CBS–which we later learned after the election–but a week and a half after Susan Rice was on [the Sunday shows calling the attack a reaction to a Youtube video] he did say he wasn’t sure if it was a terrorist attack.”
Pfeiffer then somewhat quixotically replied that, “no one was sure at that point.”
Crowley countered that saying “well, no the President, first of all in Libya they were sure of it and the CIA seemed pretty sure of it!”
This all runs contrary to what Crowley claimed during the late Presidential Debate she moderated between the President and GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
At the October 16 debate during which she acted the role of partisan moderator, Crowley backed up the President’s claim that he called the attacks at Benghazi an act of terrorism. This threw Romney for a loop and made him second guess his assertion that Obama took weeks to definitively call the attacks terrorism. The segment made Romney look suddenly unsure of himself and hampered his performance that night.
But in fact, Crowley’s own news agency, CNN, had reported that Obama called the attacks at Benghazi terrorism “for the first time” only on September 20, nine days after the attacks.
Crowley herself also reported that the President was recalcitrant in calling it terrorism. As it happens her inexplicable and unwarranted support of Obama on the debate stage contradicted her own reporting on Benghazi.
In September, only a few weeks before the debate, Crowley had said on CNN that Obama took 17 days to give a “sort of definitive statement” that terrorists orchestrated the attacks.
By February of 2013, and conveniently after the election, the co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates, Frank Fahrenkopf, admitted that Crowley was simply wrong about her assertion that Obama called the attacks an act of terror.
Now, it seems that Crowley is back to asserting that Obama took weeks to call the attack on our facilities in Benghazi, Libya an act of terror. This track record seriously calls into question her motivations for coming to Obama’s support during the October 16 debate.