Obama took full responsibility for the events that transpired in Libya, despite Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s acceptance of responsibility this week, and criticized Romney for politicizing the issue. He said that when he heard of the attacks, his first steps were to beef up security and find out what exactly happened. “When folks mess with Americans, we go after them,” he said.
On Romney’s press statement criticizing Obama’s response following the attacks, Obama said, “You don’t turn national security into a political issue.”
Moderator Candy Crowley fact-checked Romney, who said the administration was slow to declare what transpired in Libya a terrorist attack. “There were many days that passed before we knew whether this was a spontaneous demonstration or a terrorist attack,” Romney said. He hinted that Obama and his team may have been purposefully misleading the American public, and said that Obama flew to a political event in Las Vegas the day following the attacks.
But Obama said he called the terrorist attacks the following day, and Crowley confirmed. “A few days later I was there greeting the caskets coming into Andrews air force base,” Obama said.