Emanuel says Pennsylvania is safe, Libya should not be politicized
November 4th, 2012
09:07 AM ET
9 years ago

Emanuel says Pennsylvania is safe, Libya should not be politicized

(CNN) - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who previously served as President Barack Obama's chief of staff, said he believes the president's campaign "is set" in Pennsylvania - but he cautioned it's better to be safe than sorry.

"I think Pennsylvania is secure, but you don't take anything for granted," Emanuel said in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union." "There are going to be a lot of people going back to Ohio in the (final) 96 hours, multiple times. They'll go to Pennsylvania."

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With some polls showing the race tightening in the Keystone State, Mitt Romney's campaign has recently sought to put Pennsylvania in play, making major ad buys in the Democratic-leaning state and sending the candidate, as well as running mate Paul Ryan, this weekend to court the state's 20 electoral votes.

While Obama's campaign described the new strategy as an "act of desperation," it said it's not ceding any ground and made big ad buys to counter Republican efforts in the state. It also sent Jill Biden, the wife of the vice president, to the state on Saturday and will deploy former President Bill Clinton there on Monday, one day before the election.

"That doesn't mean that it's slipping," Emanuel told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley. "It just means that's the natural tiding of a race. But the president's in a strong position because of the policies."

Obama carried Pennsylvania in 2008, beating Sen. John McCain by 10 percentage points. A Franklin and Marshall College poll released Wednesday showed Obama with a narrower margin over Romney in the state, 49%-45%.

Emanuel also responded to recent criticism of the Obama administration over the Benghazi, Libya, consulate attacks - an issue which Republicans have highlighted on the campaign trail. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani especially went on the offensive Friday night, accusing the White House of "incompetence."

"You know that what happened in Libya is the result, at least, of incompetence. You think if we had elected John McCain president of the United States, those people wouldn't have had the full resources of the United States of America there in Benghazi trying to save them?" Giuliani said Friday night at a major rally for Romney and Ryan in Ohio.

Emanuel, however, said it was inappropriate to "politicize" the issue and argued the president is a "man of his word" with the right leadership.

"Get the investigation done, let the chips fall where they may, find who's accountable, bring them to justice. And a mistake, if it was made in any other agency, then you fix it. And that's what leadership is," Emanuel said.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: 2012 • Pennsylvania • Rahm Emanuel • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. wolfpackbob

    It is still The Economy, Mr. President. Your Economy, Mr. President. You built that.. And Rahm? We will find out about Libya, AFTER the election.

    November 4, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  2. Mike melloni

    The circumstances surrounding Bengazi are sad and the reality is the information is probably classified and on a need to know basis for the security of the United States and individuals on the ground. Why is so much being made of this tragic situation. If you want to draw parallels then how much did Bush know about 911 and didn't tell. How ridiculous is that statement. We are all on a need to know basis. Live with it and feel for those who lost their lives and continue to put themselves in harms way.

    November 4, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  3. RKN

    The GOP solution would have been to invade Libya and see thousands of American soldiers die avenging the deaths of 3 Americans.
    This would have been after they invaded Libya the first time when they protested more American security forces in Libya to protect an ambassador who tried to travel without security.

    November 4, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    He says Libya should NOT be politicized?

    The most outrageous lies, this administration has told, and a cover up, to match, and the people shouldn't be demanding answers for the unnecessary deaths of Americans?

    Emanual is a disgrace to humanity. He places his political party above human life.

    November 4, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  5. LIP

    Every state's electoral votes count people so make sure all of you Romney supporters get out the vote. The liberal media would have us believe that just a handful of states are important and that is far from the truth. All of us are important so don't let them influence how you think or vote.

    November 4, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  6. plain&simple

    Our country needs a government that has the resources and will to help It's people in a time of need. Weather it be a need due to natural disaster,a personal issue such as job loss. Government needs to lead the way. This includes both houses of congress!!!

    November 4, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  7. Thomas


    4 voters trusted Obama in Benghazi, Obama turned his back on them then went to bed. Now Obama is again in Vegas after a photo op in new jersey.
    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 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  8. vic , nashville ,tn

    Good start “Most expensive election” nearly $ 3 Billions spend to attract less than 10 millions voters WOW
    My opinion 2012 election is over, Romney surrogates are saying they are leading in the polls but Bottom of the TV real poll numbers show Obama is leading Oops

    Good Campaign: Won’t attack Media or Anchor, Won’t Criticize Poll numbers, and Unemployment number Romney Campaign did the opposite

    November 4, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  9. charlesName

    Then why did Ryan vote to cut funds of 300 million from those people?? Come on I am for saving, but it takes $$ to live a good life. Let's let Ryan live on what 99% of us live on & let him see how hard it is! They want to cut pay for state workers, bit they have familys they have to take care of & are trying to make a better life for them.

    November 4, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |