President Obama’s campaign spokeswoman defended the administration against questions about whether the Benghazi attack was pre-planned as U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice has maintained, insisting that the U.S. has “decimated” al-Qaeda.
“Most people don’t bring rocket- propelled grenades and heavy weapons to a demonstration. That was an act of terror,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation. “And for anyone to disagree with that fundamental fact, I think, isn’t really knowing the facts.”
Jen Psaki told CNN this morning that “what can’t be lost here is this is a political campaign season.”
“Senator McCain is a strong supporter of Mitt Romney’s. Mitt Romney came out when we knew, when the world knew, that there had been American deaths, he came out and attacked, criticized the President for identifying with the attackers,” she said.
The campaign spokeswoman said she doesn’t have access to the intelligence and doesn’t know what McCain, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, might have access to either.
“Ambassador Rice was very clear yesterday about what the U.S. government has found to be the cause here. You know, I refer you to what she said. She has access to the intelligence that you and I don’t have and most of the American people don’t have,” Psaki said.
She said it was “absolutely outrageous” to suggest that the U.S. had seen its respect in the Middle East drop in this term.
“For the first time since Jimmy Carter we’ve had an American ambassador assassinated. The respect for America has gone down, there’s not a sense of American resolve and we can’t even protect sovereign American property,” said Richard Williamson, a former assistant secretary of State and foreign policy adviser to Mitt Romney, last week.
“You know, the president is someone who said, ‘I’m going to go after Osama bin Laden.’ And he did. And he’s dead. He said, ‘I’m going to go after al Qaida.’ And he’s decimated them. He’s restored our place in the world,” Psaki said.
“This is a crisis we’re dealing with, the president is focused on every single day,” she said. “But when advisers are making statements like that I think it really brings into question whether Mitt Romney and his team are ready for prime-time and ready to face a crisis like inevitably he would if he were elected president.”