In a defining exchange of the second presidential debate Wednesday night, Mitt Romney repeated a false claim about President Obama’s reaction to the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya — and got called out by the moderator.
“The [P]resident just said something which is on the day after the attack, he went in the Rose Garden and said this was an act of terror. 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? Want to get that for the record, because it took the President 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.”
In fact, on the morning after the attack, Obama addressed the nation from the Rose Garden and 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. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America.”
Both Obama and debate moderator Candy Crowley brought this to Romney’s attention.
Some of Obama’s critics have flat out denied that Obama referred to the Benghazi attack as an act of terrorism the morning after it occurred. Others have suggested Obama may have been referring to the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and D.C.
But two days later, Obama repeated his statements less ambiguously.
Romney’s claim, echoed by scores of conservatives and GOP critics, that Obama waited two weeks to call the attack an act of terrorism is incorrect.