Valdosta Daily Times

National, International News

October 13, 2012

Romney criticizes Biden on consulate attack

RICHMOND, Va. — Broadening his attack on administration foreign policy, Mitt Romney accused Vice President Joe Biden on Friday of “doubling down on denial” in a dispute over security at a diplomatic post in Libya that was overrun by terrorists who killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

“The vice president directly contradicted the sworn testimony of State Department officials,” the Republican presidential candidate said, eager to stoke a controversy that has flared periodically since the attack on Sept. 11 “... American citizens have a right to know just what’s going on. And we’re going to find out.”

President Barack Obama had no campaign appearances during the day, leaving it to White House press secretary Jay Carney to defend Biden’s assertion in a campaign debate Thursday night that “we weren’t told” of an official request for more security at the site.

The spokesman rejected Romney’s claim of a contradiction. Biden “was speaking directly for himself and for the president. He meant the White House,” Carney said.

With his accusation, Romney once again pushed foreign policy to the forefront of a campaign dominated for more than a year by the economy, which has been painfully slow to recover from the worst recession in more than a half century.

The Republican challenger was campaigning across a pair of battleground states during the day, first in Virginia, which has 13 electoral votes, and then in Ohio, which has 18 electoral votes and where running mate Paul Ryan joined him. It takes 270 electoral votes to win the White House.

Biden was in Wisconsin, Ryan’s home state, and one where polls give Obama a narrow lead despite a debate performance last week that was so poor it fueled a Republican comeback nationally and sent shudders through the ranks of Democratic partisans.

More than a week later, officials in both parties describe a race that has largely returned to the competitive situation in effect last summer, before the national political conventions and the emergence of a videotape in which Romney spoke dismissively of nearly half the country propelled the president to significant gains in the polls.

Now, many of the same surveys show a very tight race nationally and in most of the competitive states, although the president holds a small lead in public and private surveys in Ohio and Wisconsin.

Still struggling to blunt or reverse Romney’s rise in the polls, Obama’s campaign launched two new ads in several of the contested states. One shows the Republican being asked in a “60 Minutes” interview if it’s fair that he paid federal tax of about 14 percent last year on income of $20 million, while a $50,000 wage-earner paid a higher rate. “I think it’s the right way to encourage economic growth,” he says, and the narrator adds: “Lower tax rates for him than us. Is that the way to grow America?”

The second commercial appears aimed at recent comments Romney made suggesting he might not make opposition to abortion a priority. “Maybe you’re wondering what to believe about Mitt Romney,” it says, then shows him pledging to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

With control of the Senate and all 435 House seats at stake along with the White House, outside groups that spent months stockpiling money were now in a race to spend it.

American Crossroads, a group backed by former White House strategist Karl Rove, announced this week it was spending $7.4 million in the presidential race, while an allied organization, Crossroads GPS, put down $4 million to help Republicans in five Senate races and another $8.1 million for 11 House campaigns — a total of nearly $20 million.

Some candidates seemed to be showing signs of campaign fatigue.

In a California House race between two Democrats, Rep. Brad Sherman seized the shoulder of Rep. Howard Berman during a debate, yanked him toward his chest and shouted, “You want to get into this?” The two men stood nose to nose before a sheriff’s deputy moved between them.

“I should not have done that,” conceded Sherman, 57, on Friday.

Said his 71-year-old rival: “It was like in the eighth grade, ‘You want to go over to the park on the corner and fight this out?”’

The two Democrats are pitted against each other because California advances the top two vote-getters in a primary to the general election, regardless of their party.

In the presidential race, Romney began the campaign week with a speech that criticized the Obama administration for showing a lack of leadership around the globe, particularly in the Middle East.

And he chose to end it with a direct challenge to Biden’s candor about the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

“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,” he said, referring to a hearing earlier in the week in a Republican-controlled House committee.

One official testified before the panel that he had been criticized for seeking additional security at the facility. A second said she personally had turned down requests for more protection at the facility in Benghazi.

Carney said, that despite Romney’s allegation, there was no contradiction between what Biden said and what the congressional committee had been told.

“Requests for individual personnel at the thousands of facilities ... are not adjudicated at the White House,” the spokesman said. “They are decided at the State Department.”

Biden, campaigning in LaCrosse, Wis., did not mention Libya on the day after the debate. Instead, he mocked Ryan for having said on Thursday night that a House budget proposal that he authored would not lead to drastic spending cuts in Medicare, education and other areas.

“Congressman Ryan saying his budget does not have spending cuts is like Gov. Romney standing in an unemployment line and saying, ‘I didn’t outsource you job, I offshored it,” he said, referring to a distinction Republicans sought to draw earlier in the campaign.

The controversy over Libya flared as both Romney and Obama looked ahead to their second debate, set for next Tuesday in Hempstead, N.Y.

After being accused by some Democrats of failing to prepare adequately for last week’s encounter, Obama arranged for several days of rehearsals in Williamsburg, Va.

Romney was flying home to Massachusetts on Saturday so he, too, could get ready for an event likely to be watched by a television audience measured in the tens of millions.

The two men will hold their third and final debate on Oct. 22 in Boca Raton, Fla.

1
Text Only
National, International News
  • Dollar Tree-Family Do_Rich copy.jpg Dollar Tree buys Family Dollar

    The fight for penny pinchers is intensifying.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • APTOPIX Mideast Israe_Rich copy.jpg Gaza war rages despite Hamas, Israel truce pledges

    Israel and Hamas launched new attacks Sunday in the raging Gaza war, despite going back and forth over proposals for a temporary halt to nearly three weeks of fighting ahead of a major Muslim holiday.
    The failure to reach even a brief humanitarian lull in the fighting illustrated the difficulties in securing a more permanent truce as the sides remain far apart on their terms.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP81072904918 copy.jpg Today in History for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

    Today is Tuesday, July 29, the 210th day of 2014. There are 155 days left in the year.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP4507280123 copy.jpg Today in History for Monday, July 28, 2014
    Today is Monday, July 28, the 209th day of 2014. There are 156 days left in the year. 
     

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tentative deal reached on VA reform

    The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees have reached a tentative agreement on a plan to fix a veterans’ health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays.

    July 27, 2014

  • United States-Libya_Rich.jpg US evacuates embassy in Libya amid clashes

    The United States shuttered its embassy in Libya on Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort as fighting intensified between rival militias. Secretary of State John Kerry said “free-wheeling militia violence” prompted the move.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP9607270692 copy.jpg Today in History for Sunday, July 27, 2014

    Today is Sunday, July 27, the 208th day of 2014. There are 157 days left in the year.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • No ticket for Shrek over loud musical, chief says

    A musical being performed in a New Hampshire park has drawn some noise complaints, but the deputy police chief says he’s “not giving Shrek a ticket.”

    July 26, 2014

  • Arizona Execution Dru_Rich copy.jpg Arizona’s McCain: Execution was torture

    U.S. Sen. John McCain says the execution of an Arizona inmate that lasted two hours was torture.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ukraine Plane_Rich copy.jpg US: Russia firing into Ukraine

    Russia is launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border, the U.S. and Ukraine charged Friday in what appeared to be an ominous escalation of the crisis.
    Russia accused Washington of lying and charged Ukraine with firing across the border on a Russian village. It also toughened its economic measures against Ukraine by banning dairy imports.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results