On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace grilled Obama senior campaign adviser David Axelrod over deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter’s remarks that the “entire reason” that Libya has become a political topic is because of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
Axelrod responded by telling Wallace that while it is essential that we get to the bottom of what happened, Mitt Romney has been waiting for a national security crisis to jump in on and that’s what he did. He said that we must bring the terrorists to justice, and that the President is totally committed to doing just that. Axelrod also accused Romney of exploiting the issue, mentioning that Chris Stevens’ father was just quoted as saying that the investigation needs to continue and that we need to get to the bottom of it.
Wallace then pounced on Axelrod.
WALLACE Wait, wait, wait. David, David, wait, wait wait. This is the first U.S. ambassador that has been killed since 1979 and Susan Rice came on this show and five others and gave the American people a story that came out not to be true and you’re saying we shouldn’t discuss this? That we should wait for the investigation to be completed?
AXELROD: No, no, no.
WALLACE: That’s what you just said.
AXELROD: Chris, calm down, that’s not what I’m saying. I just discussed…I don’t want to discuss…I’m happy to discuss it with you.
WALLACE You just said we could follow, wait a minute, you just said we should follow the lead of Chris Steven’s father?
AXELROD: And I do think that it’s worthy of discussion. That’s different than the manner that Governor Romney has conducted himself. And it’s not just me that attacked him for the way he handled this, he was roundly criticized by people from right to left, the Republican establishment and the Democratic establishment for the way he cravenly jumped in on this issue. So, I mean, that’s a separate issue.
WALLACE: You’re talking about what he said the day after the attack, you’re talking about what he said the day after the attack, I don’t think anyone is criticizing him now except for the Obama campaign.
AXELROD: Well, I’m just telling you from the beginning of this issue, before any facts were known, he was cravenly trying to exploit this, and that’s politics. I understand that Chris. I understand the whole deal. We’re in the last three weeks of the campaign and of course Governor Romney is going to be out there talking about this issue. But the President’s concern, the President’s concern is to get to the bottom of it, to bring the terrorists to justice, and whatever adjustments are necessary to the investigation to ensure that in the future, if there were lapses, that those lapses were addressed.
Nice try, but the fact remains that the Obama administration lied to the American people about what happened in Libya. Now that the truth is seeping out, they have gone into damage control mode, with the campaign accusing Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan of exploiting the issue politically.
The public deserves to know the truth about what happened in Libya, but if last week’s vice presidential debate was any indication, the Obama campaign doesn’t have a credible answer.