Did the president hit delete on his national security stump speech?
October 17th, 2012
08:39 PM ET
10 years ago

Did the president hit delete on his national security stump speech?

Athens, Ohio (CNN) - A standard line in the president's stump speech that touts his administration's efforts to target al Qaeda has been missing from recent stops, in the wake of the Libya terror attacks.

"I said we'd refocus on the people who actually attacked us on 9/11, and today al Qaeda is on the run and Osama bin Laden is dead," the president has said.

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But at stops in Mt. Vernon, Iowa and Athens, Ohio, the president on Wednesday made no mention of terrorists being "on the run."

"I said we'd focus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and we have, and bin Laden is dead," the president told a crowd of mostly students at a rally on the campus of Cornell College.

Republicans have questioned the president's foreign policy achievements, noting that his campaign rhetoric was further eroded by the Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans.

The missing line in the president's stump speech did not go unnoticed by the Romney campaign. Aides quickly highlighted the apparent shift.

The Obama administration and re-election campaign have accused Republicans and the Romney campaign of playing politics.

Was the line deleted intentionally? Or was it lost during ad lib moments?

The campaign has yet to weigh in despite repeated requests for comment.

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Filed under: 2012 • Al Qaeda • President Obama • Terrorism
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Anthony in California

    So we're talking about what the President isn't talking about?
    When can we talk about what Romney IS talking about?

    Obama is the guy who lays out what his plans are in detail, gets criticized, then TRIES to go do it despite being obstructed every step of the way...
    Romney lays out several plans with absolutely NO specifics, then expects us to TRUST that he's not going to only look out for him and his rich cronies....

    October 17, 2012 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  2. Dan B

    Yes it was deleted

    October 17, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  3. Ta111

    That's because he knows he can no longer perpetuate the lie that al Qaeda is on the run, actuallymtheynhave grown.

    October 17, 2012 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    No one is buying Obama's egotistical view of his accomplishments in the middle east. We all see the truth. They don't exist!

    October 17, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  5. Dan

    yes, and candy was biased in her interpretation of what the president explicitly said....

    October 17, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  6. Former Republican, now an Independent

    It is common sense that the President has to carefully examine facts before making accusations. Romney on the other hand has been utilizing the republican news network (Fox) to try to undermine national security and foreign affairs for political gain. Romney continually shows us why he is the most un-presidential candidate in U.S. history.

    October 17, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  7. donna

    Another gaff? Please, if Obama loses the election he has no one to blame but himself. He didn't take his oppoenent seriously, he lost his fresh ideas, and now he's only making things worse. I am so disappointed in his campaign. There's no way it should be this close of a race.

    October 17, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain: Hey, networks, fact-check the debates in real-time and put it in the crawl!

    This is the latest regarding Libya, 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 ...

    October 17, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  9. Discouraged

    I'm so damn tired of the Romney campaign trying to politicize the deaths of American heroes!!!! CNN you have turned into a conservative right wing news reporting agency. Every since the conservatives started whining about you being bias towards the President it seems as though your main focus now is to discredit him. If you were fair and impartial you would squash the politicizing Benghazi, Fox News does enough of it!!!!! You should be ashame of yourself!!!! The truth will come out when the investigation is complete!!!! Enough is enough!!!!

    October 17, 2012 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  10. Pete

    Is that like the NavySeals mother telling Romney to delete her son from futher political speeches acting like they were friends,they weren't and she told reporters she didn't trust Romney and said good things of Pres.Obama!!That's a delete only a democrate could love!!And is there's a sale on women's binders at Staples,its s steal 2- $5.99 only this Friday..

    October 17, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  11. Patrick

    After watching the debate last evening, the conduct by Candy Crowley was lacking in overall good journalism and a complete lack of professional integrity. I will no longer watch CNN. The network is rapidly deteriorating, and is not fair in its reporting and fallen into yellow journalism.

    October 17, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  12. becky

    This election has gone on far too long. Mr. Romney had over a year and a half to critique the President. He chose to do that instead of getting into the fray with the other Republicans. He has honed his speech, that;s for sure. Things will only get worse in the next few weeks. By the time we vote there will be further polarization of those who are for the President and those who are for Mr. Romney. Add that to the awful commercials being produced by Crossroads and those PACs and we are seeing the worst campaign ever. The 48 election did not have television, just radio, by that campaign was vicious because race was involved. This time everything is up for grabs including racism and anti-anyone and anything. I do worry about the future and just what our children will take from this election.

    October 17, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  13. NW

    Which of these 4 people in Libya had the cure for cancer?

    October 18, 2012 12:01 am at 12:01 am |

    To take repsonsibility for the Benghazi issue you must first admit the truth.

    October 18, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  15. Rosangela

    Following the last debate between Obama & Romney it became very clear that the Ms. Candy Crowley did not moderate with impartiality particularly when she intevened on Mr. Obama's defense regarding the time-line of the tragic events in Benghazi. Shame on her. For this reason, I will vote AGAINST Obama.

    October 18, 2012 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  16. truth hurts

    Even the Obama campaign knows that Obama continuing to lie to the American people about this is sinking Obama. The more they try to cover their tracks and mistakes, the more the American people see they are being dishonest and deceitful. LIARS. And even worse, incompetent liars that get Americans killed.

    October 18, 2012 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  17. Loida

    What happened in Banghazi was very tragic and it should not be used for political gain ! Remember the 911... Even all the warnings they received during the previous Bush administration the unspeakable events sadly it happened they were not able to prevent it ....Republicans should remember that. !!!!,!,,

    October 18, 2012 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  18. wjmccartan

    Keep looking for something to bring him down, I suppose eventually something will come up, is that it. Really that's all you have, republicans are just grabbing at smoke. In the meantime though I think they had better focus on what is it the republicans would do to change America's relationships around the world, including America's biggest trading partner. What he going to do with Syria, Isreal and Palestine. Wait he said they could dimiss worries about dealing with Palestine, its not going to change, wow now that's the stuff dreams are made of, ignorance is bliss huh Mittens.

    Lucid One

    October 18, 2012 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  19. josh rogen

    fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

    October 18, 2012 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  20. TimM

    I personally don't believe that the 'acts of terror' remarks made in the Rose Garden were meant to speak about Benghazi, but I also know that people will hear what they want to hear in a Politician's speech. The biggest question should be, If it was considered an 'act of terror' on the 12th by the President, why was the rest of the administration saying it was response to the stupid film? To me this is just another classic example of politi-speak, which enables a politician to speak in generalities, and not in specifics. The really funny thing is that the Obama supporters grill Romney for doing this, but give Obama a bye (vice-versa for the Romney supporters). Until we demand specifics from our politicians, they will continue this generality speaking, and we would be better off going to a psychic for what they are going to do (at least most people know those clowns only speak in general terms).

    October 18, 2012 04:36 am at 4:36 am |
  21. BinaryTooth

    Well... He needed to delete it because he has no record and his failure in Libra was horrendous. Obama is a child.

    October 18, 2012 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  22. CV

    WOW! So I'm watching the morning show and CNN is focused on binders for women & Romney's tax plan and focused on Romney. No wonder CNN is looking for a new CEO. Where's the balance? What about all the promises Obama made 4 years ago, where's your fact checking on what he said and what happened? Then there's Lybia, Amercina's died and the White Suggests that it was a U-tube video that had no hits at the time. Are you kidding me..... Your talking about binders and the president virtually lied about he said in the Rose Garden.... Good luck with your ratings, no wonder you keep losing viewers and the worst in ratings. When do you start to actually be journalists?

    October 18, 2012 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  23. Indy

    What you have here is a man with integrity and this President is man enough to have a fresh view on all matters and speak in current form. Republicans like to hang onto old worn out ideas and repeat them even if they are proven wrong or a strategy has changed direction. Take Mitt Romney and the Republicans idea that trickle down economics creates jobs, even though we have decades of proof that it does not work they use it as their number one agenda in a Presidential campaign.Ready shoot aim is not the way Obama works and being man enough to see change and focus takes real leadership and the President has the correct and balanced leadership skills to take us in the right direction

    October 18, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  24. plain&simple

    Bad things happen all around this world and unfortunately this will never change. Every president has to face their own "Pearl Harbor". The best we as a nation can do is project strength,compassion and determination. We have not turned a blind eye to any aggression. Boasting did not serve the Bush administration well.

    October 18, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |