Remember how the President and the MSM were upset about the whole “You didn’t build that” comment was taking the President’s words out of context? I’ve seen the larger context and hold with those who think that, even in context, Mr. Obama’s words sound pretty bad.
But apparently it is OK for the president to take his own words out of context. If it suits him politically of course. His administration was pushing the “blame the video” story for the Libya tragedy. Only after many days did the Administration admit that story couldn’t hold water anymore.
Yet in the debate Obama pulls this generic quote about about “acts of terror” from the day after the attacks that was, by any measure, completely out of context. One would have to give the President a huge benefit of the doubt in concluding that those generic words were meant to refer specifically to the Libya bombings–especially since they put so much effort into the video story for several days after that.
Apparently it is OK to quote oneself out of context. Just get irate if others do the same.
This seemed to be the point Romney was going to make, but he got knocked off guard by Candy Crowley’s unsolicited “fact-checking.” Tony Lee at Breitbart.com has a fascinating transcript from an exchange between Crowley and Axelrod on Sept. 30, which I quote at length below:
On September 12, the day after the attacks, Obama did say the words “acts of terror” but he was not referring to the attacks that killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens.
Crowley knew that on September 30 and she conceded it again hours after the debate when she went on CNN and said while Romney “was right in the main, but he just chose the wrong word.” But the damage had already been done.
With Obama’s reelection on the line, Crowley seemed to have conveniently forgotten the facts she knew two weeks before when she grilled Axelrod in a way she should have Obama.
When Axelrod tried to tell Crowley that the “president called it an act of terror the day after it happened,” Crowley rejected the spin and corrected Axelrod, telling him that Obama said the the attacks were not “planned” and was “part of this tape,” in reference to the obscure anti-Muhammad Internet video the Obama administration blamed:
CROWLEY: First, they said it was not planned, it was part of this tape. All that stuff.
AXELROD: As the director of national intelligence said on Friday, that was the original information that that was given to us. What we don’t need is a president or an administration that shoots first and asks questions later.
Crowley then accused the Obama administration of shooting first (not telling Americans terrorists were behind the Benghazi attacks) and asking questions later, which is what Obama accused Romney of doing when Romney released a statement
CROWLEY: But isn’t that what happened?
AXELROD: And, you know, Governor Romney leaped out on this Libya issue on the first day, and was terribly mistaken about what he said. That is not what you want in a president of the United States. And as for Senator McCain, for whom I have great respect, he has disapproved of our approach to Libya from the beginning, including the strategy that brought Gadhafi to justice.
Crowley then called out Axelrod’s spin again, saying the administration initially insisted the terrorist attacks were not preplanned:
CROWLEY: But this has to do not with the approach to Libya but with the murder of four Americans in Libya. And didn’t the administration shoot first? Didn’t they come out and say, listen, as far as we can tell, this wasn’t preplanned, this was just a part of —
AXELROD: At this point, this is what we know, and we are thoroughly investigating. And that’s exactly what you should do. That’s what the responsible thing to do is. I was kind of shocked to see Representative King attack Ambassador Rice for what she said last Sunday here and elsewhere, because she was acting on the intelligence that was given to her by the intelligence community. To say she should resign — she is one of the most remarkable, splendid public servants we have. That’s thoroughly irresponsible.
So, it seems that Mr. Obama was very aware of this previous spin attempt, as was Crowley, of course. But apparently Romney was not (though perhaps should have been). Given that she had earlier made pretty much exactly the same argument that Romney was trying to make and wasn’t buying the Administration spin at all, her jumping in to help Obama on this important point (right after he completely ignored her question, by the way) seems….disingenuous and unfair, at best; somewhat far more nefarious, at worst.