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. Jeff Cox

    Romney is amazed that someone would stick by what they say (i.e. "doubling down"). Why does that surprise anyone, given that his own amorality let's him change his position at a whim?

    October 12, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  2. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Aw common kid This car was driven by a Little Old Lady from Pasdena. And she only drove to church on Sunday. Yer gonna buy this car ain't Ya kid? Look at Joe smiling that s**t e*tin grin. This as a good buy kid. You can't go wrong. Trust me.

    October 12, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. dsangiovanni

    Ridiculous , Vice president and President shouldn't know about every single USA outside post problems....Why don't they ask to he people who is being paid for it /

    October 12, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  4. BostonSteve

    I"If you don't have any fresh ideas, you use stale tactics to scare the voters" (Barack Obama 2008)....and what fresh ideas does this current administration have? Answer: None. Same ole....borrow more money from China and continue to grow the government.

    October 12, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  5. Kevin

    CNN is turning into FOX news light. CNN is making a big deal about the Libya situation, which was clearly a result of insufficent intelligance but lets Romney change his stance on every policy he makes without calling him out. Romeny clearly stated that he was hoping for something to attack like the Iranian hostage crisis but CNN doesn't call him out on that. Romneys TAX numbers don't add up, he says he will compromise with dems after stating he wouldnt take $10 of cuts to every $1 of new revenue, he changes his mind on abortion every other day, he says he'll just kick the can down the road on gaza strip issue, he touts his healthcare in Mass but says he'll end obamacare, Ryan says stimulus was waste of money but he requested funds for his district....... I could on and on and on. Tell the real story and then I might take the Libya thing seriously.

    October 12, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. Brian Hartman

    Carney's explanation of Biden's comments ducks the real issue: It doesn't matter if the requests didn't go all the way to the White House. The real issue is, if proper channels were gone through, why weren't the requests taken seriously?

    The buck stops with Obama. He can't blame this one on Bush.

    October 12, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  7. quillerm

    A Full Month after the 9/11 attack on our Embassy and brutal torture and killing of the Ambassador and his staff, Obama and Biden are still playing the 'denial' game. They are so uninterested in the event, that they didn't know the Ambassador made requests for additional security and was turned down. In fact, had the additional security been provided, the Ambassador would be alive right now. Millions of Americans watching the Hearings now know why the Regional Embassy Security Official testified that the lack of concern by the State Department for Security of Embassy's made him feel that the Taliban running the show. Biden and Obama are still clueless, they don't want to know what happened or why.

    October 12, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. Weasley

    American soldiers were dropping dead left and right in Iraq, and Afghanistan, but what did you hear from the conservatives?

    ...crickets chirping...

    Make no mistake, the loss of any American life is a tragedy, whether overseas or at home, but the conservatives whaling on and on about Libya is so insincere as to be laughable.

    October 12, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  9. Donkey Party

    Howard – President Obama hasn't "squandered" 6 trillion dollars, you low-intellect sub-human. 785 billion was for the recovery, which many GOPers used, but won't admit to, and another 4 trillion is what Obama added to the books for two unfunded wars, two unfunded tax-cuts, and Medicare Part D, all items that Bush kept off the books. The reason why the country has a hard time moving forward, is because of low-information, low-intellect, right-wing know-nothings like you that are so gullible, they believe everything they hear from right-wing propagandists like Limbaugh, Coulter, and Fox News. As Rick Santorum says, the GOP will never attract the smart people, and you and the rest of the right-winger sub-humans that comment here are shining examples of that fact.

    October 12, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. Joe M.

    When nobody in the media is willing to make a big deal out of this and explain the facts, why wouldn't Obama "double down" on their ridiculous explanation?

    October 12, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. My

    I understand why GOP ticket is picking Libya as the key item on the campaign.With just few weeks left, the undecided like myself look for differences..If you cannot show a mathematical formula of your plans, I am sorry man, you don't get it..Libya would help energize your base but their vote is given already to you..I think this was an easy give me election for GOP back in 2011..They have messed it up really bad..Senate races are tightening in GOP stronghold like Arizona..This is going to hurt..

    October 12, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  12. Donkey Party

    Dontbelieveit – Because Bush DID know that there were no WMDs, he just needed some kind of cover story to justify invading Iraq to appease his Daddy, so he had the intel community falsify their reports.

    October 12, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. V in Chicago

    "These guys are like door to door salesmen who will say anything to make you buy their garbage."
    One of the best analogies I've read today!!

    October 12, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  14. Patrick in Wisconsin

    Wow, Republicans must REALLY be desperate. An average of 3-4 Americans die every day in Afghanistan! And somehow this boils to the top of their list? If this is the only beef Republicans can come up with, Obama is sure to win!

    October 12, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  15. Squigman

    Romney: You want to witness indifference? Come watch me vote. You'll cry all the way home, much like all the other little piggies you represent.

    October 12, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  16. zaggs

    "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."

    Ok democrats. Here are your choices. They're either A) lying (they did know but want to blame Hillary) or B) completely incompetent (no one in the administration knows what is going on at State). Which is it?

    October 12, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. Cissie

    I can tell Romney watched The Movie The American President. His closing line. These are serious time for serious People. President Obama can say. "I am the President". VP Biden won the debate. People need to start listening and stop only looking.

    October 12, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  18. Dan

    Beiden also "denied" he voted for Afghanistan and Iraq wars (authorizing the use of force). He claimed he said it was too costly while Ryan voted for it– he also did!
    This is incredible! unbelievable! (yes, Beiden is unbelievable on all counts)

    October 12, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  19. calvin

    the leader and is second did not know of a request for help. this show how nout of touch the bunch has been since day one. they blame every one for there failure and call them lier's then the kool aid drinker cheep right along not know what they saying the news will not callk them out on this which just 2x the problems

    October 12, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. durundal

    Heres a novel idea, lets let the factchecker decide....oh wait, you dont believe in that because you rarely pass the mustard. Sorry Romney, nice try

    October 12, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. talkingtruth

    Senile Biden exploded in fury (laughed like a clown) when bright Ryan exposed the obama's administration inability to propose any single balanced budget. Of course, they will never do it because they want to continue wasting our tax money in paying the rich inefficient companies, devolving the favor to corrupt groups that voted for them and continue travelling (him, and his wife) while the 16 trillion debt continues growing, 23 million unemployed people struggle to survive. In the meantime, inept Biden only laughs. Pathetic! We the young Americans are with Romney and Ryan!

    October 12, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  22. Joan

    This attempt to make the horrible embassy attack in Libya a huge scandal to smear the administration is already starting to crack. It is becoming clear that Issa, his premature hearing and the Republicans are throwing everything at the wall and hoping something will stick. Why not wait until they find out who the murderers are, who they were associated with, how long they planned the attack and if the embassy needed more security then who was really to blame?. Was it the Libyans who are supposed to guard the embassies, the State Department or perhaps the Congress for cutting security spending for this kind of thing? . Don't forget a lot of the security in the whole region was probably being stretched pretty thin because they were trying to stay on top of the dozens of violent protests in many countries at the same time. CNN was covering that really well. I wouldn't be surprised if we hear some day soon that a drone attack has taken out the murderers. As with some of their other attempts to bring down the administration this may backfire on Republicans too. True to McConnell's word, Issa, the Congress, the Tea Party, RNC and others are doing everything they can to make President Obama a one term president. Why don't they seem more interested in making the heads of the murders roll instead of members of the State Department? They definitely always put party before country.

    October 12, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. fryuujin

    from the dolts who gave us Bush for 2 terms and 2 wars costing 1000s of lives and Trillions of dollars and the group that put us in a near depression and we're to think that they know who should be president. Come on, be real the people who vote GOP should be in prison for treason.

    October 12, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. Frankie

    Romneyhad his chance on letting us know how he might do with an overseas trip earlier this year and we know how that came out. He cannot even go overseas without insulting the host country of the Olympics. What was really telling is in the 47% video he was waiting for just a moment when he could take advantage of some sort of tragedy on foreign policy. Romney cannot be trusted, he has no convictions on any issue as he has flip flopped on nearly every single issue depending on what group of people he is talking to.

    October 12, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. tuscany590

    Hard to believe, and absolutely disgraceful, that Jay Carney actually tried to justify the falsehood that the death of our people in Libya was the fault of the Romney team & specifically the budget cuts that Ryan proposed..But he was the Director of Communications for crazy Joe..

    October 12, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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