warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Second Presidential Debate To Highlight Hypocrisy Of Libya Embassy Attack Politicization

Michael Juliani, Nicholas Slayton |
October 16, 2012 | 11:49 a.m. PDT

Executive Producers

(Dawn Megli / Neon Tommy)
(Dawn Megli / Neon Tommy)

The politicization of the Libya embassy attack will come to a head at Tuesday night's presidential debate as Democrats and Republicans scramble to aid their presidential candidates' foreign policy image in light of the U.S. ambassador's death. 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accepted responsibility Monday for the handling of the attack after weeks of the Romney campaign's criticism of President Obama on the issue.

"I take responsibility," Clinton said in an interview with CNN. "I'm in charge of the State Department's 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts. The president and the vice president wouldn't be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. They're the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs and make a considered decision."

(SEE MORE: Ahead Of Second Debate, Michelle Obama Votes, Says President Will Rebound)

However, instead of attacking Clinton, the Romney campaign plans to go after President Obama. According to Ambassador William Richardson, Romney will demand that Obama take responsibility for the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

A top foreign policy adviser to the Romney campaign said Tuesday that Romney will tell Obama to “man up” and “accept his responsibility” for the embassy attack at Tuesday night’s debate.

Former New York City mayor and current Romney surrogate Rudy Giuliani accused the White House of trying to cover up the true story on Libya. Speaking on Fox News, Giuliani said that Romney should “exploit” the issue.

Romney said that Vice President Joe Biden was “doubling down on denial” in comments he made in last week’s debate.

(SEE MORE: Romney Camp Calls Out Biden On Libya)

Biden claimed that the administration was not told the Benghazi consulate requested increased security.

Trying to avoid further controversy, the White House said that Biden was speaking independently.

At the vice presidential debate last week, Paul Ryan attacked Joe Biden for not providing the Libyan embassy with security it supposedly asked for prior to the September 11 raid.

But Ryan supported the GOP movement to cut half a billion dollars from the State Department budget, which includes financing for diplomatic security at the embassies.

The State Department released a first-hand account of the Benghazi attack last week.

An armed militia stormed the United States’ consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, killing Stevens and the others. 

The Obama administration initially said that the attack stemmed out of anti-American protests caused by the film Innocence of the Muslims. 

However, it was later ruled a terrorist action. 

Citizens of Benghazi drove militias out of the city, including Ansar al-Sharia, which is thought to have a hand in the assault. 


Read more of Neon Tommy's coverage of the debates and Libya.

Reach Executive Producers Michael Juliani and Nicholas Slayton here and here.




Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.