Defending administration on Libya, Obama adviser cites George W. Bush
November 4th, 2012
11:54 AM ET
6 years ago

Defending administration on Libya, Obama adviser cites George W. Bush

(CNN) - Senior Obama adviser David Plouffe on Sunday argued the politicization of the attack in Benghazi, Libya "has been unprecedented" and invoked George W. Bush to make his case.

Plouffe said when terrorists bombed the U.S.S. Cole in October 2000 - just weeks before the presidential election - then-Republican candidate Bush said "we need to speak with one voice" rather than criticize the Clinton administration.

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"And really for that entire campaign, President Bush and Dick Cheney said 'we need to speak with one voice, we need to find out what happened here', and I do think the politicization has been unprecedented," Plouffe said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Republicans, including presidential nominee Mitt Romney, have harshly criticized the Obama administration's handling of the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, which left U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead.

They've questioned whether the administration provided adequate security ahead of the incident and whether officials misled the public about what led to the attack. Romney has said what occurred in Libya is evidence Obama's policies in the Mideast are unraveling.

On Sunday, Plouffe insisted the administration has been forthcoming about the attack and said the president is committed to making sure the country understands what happened.

When asked if the administration is deliberately waiting until after Tuesday's election to release the findings of its investigation, Plouffe said, "Absolutely not."

Filed under: 2012 • David Plouffe • Libya • President Obama
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Martin

    Republicans used to be a legitimate voice in America, a rational voice. Now as the Tea/Republicans they have devolved into a world of lies and deceptions. Shameful and in a word un-American.

    November 4, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. Joseph

    Honestly nobody cares about this spin BS. We understand a foreign embassy worker in a country recovering from a civil war face risks.

    November 4, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  3. kevin

    One little big difference there mr. plouffe-clinton didn't lie about it and everyone knew quickly what happened and Clinton told the nation quickly. Clinton's mistake was he sent the FBI to investigate and his response was to lob a couple of cruise missles at the alleged hideout of Bin Lidin.

    November 4, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. Victor Tiffany

    What a liar! It's obvious that Obama is stalling and covering his rear. Plouffe is crazy if he thinks citing Bush – a man he and his cohorts bash at nearly every opportunity – is going to buy his boss any credibility. Lying liars doing what lying liars do best! Sorry, Mister President, but your performance isn't up to standards, and you will soon be escorted from the White House.

    November 4, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. Wes

    The administration insulted the intelligence of all Americans by blaming a video two weeks after the attack. Mistakes were made, yes, but the cover-up and deflecting the blame to a you-tube video is pathetic.

    November 4, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. RatBuster

    This rat does not seem to think people understand the difference between a terrorist attack that was covered up (Benghazi) vs one that was not (USS Cole).

    November 4, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |

    another thing is the U.S.S. COLE did not request for help as did the victims in LIBYA prior to attack

    November 4, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. 333maxwell

    Hey Joseph...

    :" We understand a foreign embassy worker in a country recovering from a civil war face risks.".

    I don't have anything to add, but that was worth repeating.

    November 4, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. Thor Odynson

    If they could act like Americans and put up a candidate that isn't against everyone that isn't white and male (I happen to be both) and can bring up ideas that don't just benefit people that can get to the top against all odds or have the fortunance to be born there

    November 4, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. B. Lammo Man

    I guess "politicized" means don't ask questions we don't want to answer when we are caught in a lie to the American public. Is that what it means? There is no correlation between Bush's comments reference an attack on a warship and what happened in Benghazi because Clinton didn't offer a bogus reason for the attacks then send his Ambassador to the U.N. to five Sunday talk shows to offer a up the lie to national TV.

    It is the Obama administration that politicized this by offering up something other than the truth and got caught. It's that simple. His comment of "we don't play politics where American lives are concerned" is laughable. He played politics with the killing of Osama Bin Laden, he played politics with the "decimation of al qaeda", he played politics when his administration released classified information for their own political gain. And now, when he played politics and got busted, it's the republican's fault for politicizing things.

    Those sycophants who don't care need to wake up and understand that your president elected to sleep through this debacle, writing off the lives of four people all of whom possess more character than him, so he could be rested for his rally in Las Vegas. And then fabricated a story to explain it all away.

    Tuesday we'll find out who cares. And I'm betting a lot do.

    November 4, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  11. fbowman

    Obama and his entire administration have lied and lied about this. A new piece of information comes out every other day that casts someone in this administrations statements in doubt. It's a cover-up.

    It's a video. – Rice, Obama and Clinton. LIE. We had no actionable intelligence. Clinton – LIE. We didn't have real time information to send in support. Panetta – LIE. Nobody requested help – Obama Clinton – LIE I said it was terrorist act in the Rose Garden the day after. Obama – LIE.

    November 4, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. Canuck

    @B.Lammo Man
    "I guess "politicized" means don't ask questions we don't want to answer when we are caught in a lie to the American public."

    Sounds like Obama did screw up big time... however, his predessor also lied to the American public on a much,much larger scale. His lie caused the deaths of thousands of people and he has never been held accountable for it. Are you as concerned with what GWB got away with???

    November 4, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  13. B.

    Republicans are in Desperate Mode now because they are losing this for one major element,and that is trust.

    Romney and Co. are all about lies and manipulations of the reality that also is on tape for All to see and compare.

    Romney is a Jello Sandwich and can not be trusted with anything that requires consistency of thought or standards!

    November 4, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  14. it must be said

    Their was no massive incompetence and advance warning when Cole was bombed. There were NUMEROUS warnings, numerous prior attacks and requests for increased security THAT WERE DENIED. It is NOT just about the attack. There was massive incompetence BEFORE the attack, massive incompetence/indifference DURING the attack, and a MASSIVE COVERUP after the attack. ALL with the cooperation of the LSM because Obama is their candidate and he must be protected at all costs.

    November 4, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. just sayin

    if the democrats aren't blaming bush they are using him when convenient, though totally inappropriately. the two events share very little in the way of facts, other than they were attacks. after there are no similarities.

    November 4, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  16. Thomas

    This rat does not seem to think people understand the difference between a terrorist attack that was covered up (Benghazi) vs one that was not (USS Cole).

    Nice name you have !
    They were dedicated state department officials who take great pride in there service , they are profesonals . And they know that risks are part of there job . The CIA report last week dismissed the Romney allegation as false..
    You could use your same analogy in regards to GW Bush reading Bedtime for Bonzo to children down in FLA on 911. Those voters in the twin towers trusted GW Bush and National security adviser Coni Rice .

    We lost four brave Americans overthrowing Muammar Gaddafi and transforming Libya without ocupation .

    How many Americans lost there lives do to WMDs that were never found in Iraq ?
    The Pentagon reports 4,487 American soldiers killed and 32,226 wounded in Iraq since the onset of the American initiated war in 2003. Whereas the number of dead as reported is mostly accurate, Froomkin writes that in truth close to 500,000 of the 1.5 million American soldiers sent to Iraq have suffered injuries. When we add to the American dead and wounded the number of Iraqi dead and wounded the catastrophe of that war becomes at once clear and unfathomable.

    Romney = GW Bush

    November 4, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. Anne

    Liars. Coverup. Otherwise Bill Clinton wouldn't be out there to rescue Obama in the last days before the election. Really wondering who is on the ballot: Obama or Clinton?

    November 4, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  18. Mr. Munchie

    A resounding "Amen" to B. Lammo Man's post above. I wonder how long we would have waited to provide support if the embassy was under attack and Mr. Obama was on site?

    It all boils down to what the Progressives/Socialists can use to make political hay. Obama wants to be the man who decimated Al Qaeda. When events say otherwise, he rewrites the events to support his reality. People died over this and Obama has blood on his hands. May the people of this country see through the lies and stear this country back on track.

    November 4, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  19. CaliforniaBC

    The Right are so focused on some conspiracy over Benghazi because they nothing to run on themselves.

    November 4, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  20. CaliforniaBC

    Republicans are trying to create substance out of semantics.

    November 4, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain: Republicans block everything then blame YOU nothing gets done!

    Republicans voted to CUT embassy security funding by $300 million – including Lyin' Ryan.

    Google Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz for more info, including this quote by him on why he vetoed the request: "And we’re talking about can we get two dozen or so people into Libya to help protect our forces? When you’re in tough
    economic times, you have to make difficult choices how to prioritize this."

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane choice

    November 4, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  22. ThinkAgain: Republicans block everything then blame YOU nothing gets done!

    As reported in the October 15, 2012 "New York Times":

    "To Libyans who witnessed the assault and know the attackers, there is little doubt what occurred: a well-known group of LOCAL Islamist militants struck the United States Mission without any warning or protest, and they did it in retaliation for the video [mocking Islam]. "
    But the Repubs, of course, will never let FACTS get in their way in their

    efforts to smear President Obama ...

    November 4, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain: Republicans block everything then blame YOU nothing gets done!

    From the August 2009 U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks:

    "Lieberman called Libya an important ally in the war on terrorism, noting that common enemies sometimes make better friends."

    Google Lieberman, Graham, McCain, Qaddafi to read more fun tidbits likes this:

    "Senator McCain assured [Qaddafi's son] Muatassim that the United States wanted to provide Libya with the equipment it needs for its [a Libyan security program]. He stated that he understood Libya’s requests regarding the rehabilitation of its eight C130s [a transport plane] and pledged to see what he could do to move things forward in Congress. He encouraged Muatassim to keep in mind the long-term perspective of bilateral security engagement
    and to remember that small obstacles will emerge from time to time that can be overcome."

    Funny how when the people of Libya were trying to overthrow Qaddafi, Lieberman, Graham and McCain were so quick to criticize President Obama ...

    November 4, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  24. ThinkAgain: Republicans block everything then blame YOU nothing gets done!

    Ask yourself this: If all President Obama cared about was scoring political points, then wouldn't it have been much better for him to STOP the Benghazi attack and NO Americans die?!?

    You righties are pathetic in your knee-jerk hatred and inability to see through the lies the GOP and likes of Limbaugh feed you on a daily basis ...

    November 4, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  25. J Long

    People have lost focus on Benghazi, and the election is 2 days away.

    Back to question 1: Obama stated that he “gave a directive to do whatever we need to do to secure personnel on the scene” Was Obama telling the truth?

    Back to Question 2: Why did the Obama Administration, including POTUS himself at his United Nations speech – continue to mislead people that the terrorist attack was due to a YouTube video for two weeks following the incident?

    Back to Question 3: EIght days AFTER Set 11, 2012, -Jay Carney’s Press Briefing 9/19/12, he stated; “ Right now I’m saying we don’t have evidence at this point that this was premeditated or preplanned .... If that changes, we will certainly make you aware of it. “ Has the transparent Obama Administration kept America updated?

    Back to Question 4: How's the investigation into the WHite House security leaks going?

    November 4, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
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