October 12th, 2012
12:49 PM ET
6 years ago

Romney: Biden 'doubling down on denial'

Richmond, Virginia (CNN) - Mitt Romney accused Vice President Joe Biden of "doubling down on denial" as details continued to trickle out about the Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans last month.

It was the second time in as many days that Romney sharply criticized the Obama administration for its posture in the aftermath of the attack.

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At an outdoor rally in Richmond, Romney said Biden had raised more questions about the administration's handling of the deadly incident when he "directly contradicted the testimony of State Department officials," during the vice presidential debate Thursday night.

"He's doubling down on denial. And we need to understand exactly what happened as opposed to just having people brush this aside," Romney said. "When the vice president of the United States directly contradicts the testimony, sworn testimony, of state department officials, American citizens have a right to know just what's going on."

On Thursday night, Biden told the debate moderator "we did not know" about requests for more security in the months before the attack on the United States' consulate in Benghazi.

"We weren't told they wanted more security there," Biden said when pressed during the debate. "We did not know they wanted more security again."

Republicans pounced, citing congressional testimony from State Department officials about requests for more security staffing in Libya.

On Friday White House spokesman Jay Carney clarified Biden's comments, saying the vice president had been referring to himself, the president and the White House, not the broader administration.

Carney said the requests for additional security in Libya had been handled by the State Department and had not reached the White House.

Romney had criticized the president a day earlier, after Obama's deputy campaign manager accused the Republican ticket of trying to politicize the Libya attacks.

"It's an issue because this is the first time in 33 years that a United States ambassador has been assassinated," Romney said. "Mr. President, this is an issue because we were attacked successfully by terrorists on the anniversary of 9/11. President Obama, this is an issue because Americans wonder why it was it took so long for you and your administration to admit that this was a terrorist attack."

"This is a very serious issue," Romney continued. "These are very serious questions, and the American people deserve serious answers and I hope they come soon."

Filed under: 2012 • Joe Biden • Libya • Mitt Romney
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. rosco

    Biten is good for a few laughs at a party, Obambam is good for hanging with celebs
    THEY ARE NOT GOOD FOR the whitehouse

    October 12, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. bowlkoff

    If this is all you have to campaign on now since you have no numbers no specifics just pulling the wool over the avg american. Well you need to open your eyes Mitt, some of us know when we are being sold and i am one. Here ill explain you state you do not WANT to raise taxes on middle class, see in sales we call that a non absolute statement so we remain compliant and out of the scope of regulators. Why won't you show us those loopholes you talk about and the math of your budget so i can see in ABSOLUTE what you will be doing. See as president you cannot make statements to try to not be accountable to those statements, as president you must speak with confidence and absolute. You could learn something from Biden last night he made an absolute statement about being out of Afgan in 14. It is now on the Afgan military to protect Afgan. We pull troops out and you and Ryan try to paint this picture of less man power when we have replaced the AMERICANS with Afgan soldiers. So next time you two try to paint a picture make sure you try to include math. Here ill make it simple if there was 100 soldiers and we withdrew 50 american soldiers and replaced them with 50 trained Afgan soldiers you still have 100 soldiers. It really is that simple STOP trying to sell the american people your dream of filling that big ego of yours. If i hear one more word about your family values i will probably puke since your own father made ABSOLUTE statements about how a true leader should show his personal tax records so you see you cannot pick and choose when you wish to show family value. You might be a likable guy in your church and community but the american people are not just spectators in your church wanting to be like the rich guy that talks well.

    October 12, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens attacked our own embassies when he went public before the families of those who died where notified. Mittens will do anything to score political points, and should never be allowed to have a position of authority in government. He was a failure as governor of MA, and is a failure as a candidate. Being rich does not a president make.

    October 12, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. Namejkane sfl a vote for lady parts romney the tax cheat and lyin lady parts ryan willcut your moms medicare and soc sec . .can you afford to pay for them???

    I think lyin Ryan is just doubleing down on his and romney 24_7 lieing campaign I guess they think the American public are suckers, but on Nov 7. The will be on the unemployment line with the rest of the gop obstructionest !!!!!

    October 12, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. stephen

    Obama and Biden are fighting tooth and toenail to keep funding going to "Big Bird" and PBS but they refuse to fund requests for additional security teams for our Ambassador and his cadre in the face of growing security threats in Lybia. That is a disgrace in itself.

    October 12, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  6. mikey

    biden lied about Libya, he lied about the health care mandate.

    October 12, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. hmw011

    Biden called Ryan a liar on numerous occasions yet Biden bold face lied about the Benghazi incident. Per the senate hearing the intelligence agency told the Obama Administration the next day that is was a terrorist attack, yet for political reasons they chose to tell the American people it had to do with a video and not because Obama has been spiking the ball saying how he killed Bin Laden and the he has Al-Qaida running. The fact that security on the ground in Benghazi had asked for additional manpower and that manpower was denied. They have gotten away with so many lies (Fast & Furious) and many others that they just thought Americans would ignore the facts. Then had the colossal gall to blame the Republicans for lack of funds. Yet the State department is spending money on Chevy Volts for the embassies but can’t spend money on security in dangerous locations. OMG this is just shocking.

    October 12, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. HelenG

    I understood the Vice President to mean that he and the President were not told. My friends understood that was what Biden meant. Although I do not think Romney is as smart as my friends, I do not believe that he understood the remark any differently than we did. "If he's Ryan, he's lyin"" must now be expanded to include Romney.

    October 12, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  9. carlos

    where are your tax returns you freaking creep, cheater, liar and suffering from querulous paranoia.......and deceiver to top it off.

    October 12, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  10. Larry in Houston

    "doubling down" ?? LOL I thin the republicans have "doubled down" when they put the middle class in a Vise during the reagan years, not to mention bush 41 – and dubya. If the voters give the republicans a "pass" this time, believe me the middle class, the independents, the democrats, AND also Some republicans will be watching them, in the next 4 years. ( IF romney and ryan gets In) I mean, IF the rest of the nation finds out they are constantly catering to the ultra rich ( or even rich) and constantly giving them a "free pass" and constantly crushing the regular working people, believe me, they will be also a "one termer" – It's not like the old days, when whomever was running for the presidency, when it was all about how much money you had to advertise. With the internet / social media, now days, the people are watching, and will hold their feet to the fire, and will remember what they say, 4 years from now.

    May the Best Man Win

    October 12, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  11. SC

    Romney, Biden may be doubling down on Libya but he did not lie to the teeth like you and a thief caught in a broad daylight.

    October 12, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  12. Jim

    Biden is a joke. He has the credibility and appearance of a used car salesman. Obama was too busy spending security money on Chevy Volts to make our embassies "green", and now good people are dead because of his stupid liberalism.

    October 12, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  13. Hammerer

    Come to think about it, Obama and Biden probably did not have the intelligence reports from Benghazi after four americans were slaughtered. What with Obama in Vegas and Uncle Joe in a world all his own, they had no way to get the information, except by watching TV. And you know what they were saying.

    October 12, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    stephen – the appropriations for security in our embassies were voted down by the bagger congress including Lyin Ryan. Nice try though.

    October 12, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  15. Alina77

    Romney and Ryan are playing with peoples intelligence for a while now... DO YOU KNOW WHERE ROMNEY STANDS?... He stand pretty much on everything that you don't stand but you stand on what he stands... Amen (that's Romney to you)

    October 12, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  16. Chris

    Big bird is more important....

    October 12, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    All the evidence you need that Biden won last night is right here on CNN and on Faux Noise's website: they are both trying to change the subject really really fast....and Faux is paying special attention to simply trying to tear down Biden right now, criticizing him for doing the same things they applauded when Mittens did them last week. That neither is having some giddy little celebration over Ryan like they did when Mittens did well against a lackluster Obama performance is all the proof you need that they are afraid that focusing on Biden's curbstomping of Ryan last night might damage their carefully manufactured horse race narrative.

    October 12, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  18. Denny

    This scandal keeps getting bigger and bigger. Thank you Mitt Romney for staying on top of it. The American people deserve to know whether this attack happened because of Obama's policies or neglect and then what extent did Obama go to for a cover-up. Hillary needs to come forward with the truth.

    October 12, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Gee, I read and read and nowhere in this article did I find Obama's response to Romney's bellicose and unfounded allegations. Nowhere in the article did I see CNN reporting that the Obama administration had been shot down to the tune of 300 plus million dollars they had requested precisely to enable them to provide additional security to our posts overseas. Nowhere in the article was there mention of Sect'y of State Clinton's dire prediction that in denying the request for additional security funds this type of incident could and did happen.
    Where is this information in this 'fair and balanced' article?

    October 12, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. LA Man

    Interesting that Gov Romney without all the intelligence resources avaiable to Obama called it right a couple of weeks before the President/State Dept/and the VP. Opps...the VP still does not have his talking points in line with the story-line-of-the-day. The "intelligence community" is fuming about the alligation that they gave the wrong info to the Pres. Too many people know who knew what and when for the Administration to keep a lid on this.

    October 12, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. Don

    Anyone trying to blame Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan for this mess are no better than a sitting President who ignored the pleas of an American embassy for additional security (either they are lying or grossly incompetent or both). This President has blamed everyone and everything for this mess including George Bush, ATM machines, Congress (which was Democrat controlled for the first 2 years), the weather, Europe, and on and on and on.

    From day one the administration has attempted to get us all to believe that this was a spontaneous reaction to some stupid video that had 14 YouTube hits at the time of the uprising. They've continued to lie about it. And any of you who continue to defend them in this action are guilty by association. Wake up people. I know you're in that Obama coma caused by that infectious smile and a smooth jumpshot. But you really can wake up.

    October 12, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  22. Paul

    Hey Romney in that 47% video you said you wanted something like this to happen. WHY NOT TALK ABOUT THAT?

    October 12, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |

    FINALLY CNN mentions the Lybian cover up by the Obama administration.., with a progressive narrative of course.

    October 12, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  24. ricardo1968

    These assertions by Romney regarding Libya are ridiculous. He seems to believe that as president, when an attack happens you automatically know everything about what happened and who did it in that same hour. He doesn't really believe that though, this is just some dishonest and empty attempt to 'attack the strength' as Karl Rove would say.

    October 12, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  25. Poppachocks

    I tried leaving comments several times on a similar article on MSNBC, but the text kept getting deleted every time I would
    try to post it. Strange, huh?

    Has anybody seen any articles regarding what the ambassadors family has to say about this tragedy? I would sure be screaming at someone in Washington on this one.

    Does the current administration actually believe that the public will buy the "we didn't know" line? I am ashamed that politics in this country have trivialized four people's deaths. And yes, our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have died, but they enlisted and were trained to fight. These four people were just there trying to do a job and got butchered.

    October 12, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
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