Skip to comments.NBC: Obama Defending Susan Rice's Phony Benghazi Story Like A 'Dramatic' Movie Moment
Posted on 11/14/2012 3:19:19 PM PST by Kaslin
Following President Obama's Wednesday afternoon press conference, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams continued his longtime obsession with the liberal fantasy film The American President and his eagerness to compare Obama to Michael Douglas's fictional presidential character: "...the President today almost conjuring the wording of Aaron Sorkin from the movie American President, as will be pointed out all day, really decided to throw down." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Referring to Obama's indignation at critics of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who made false statements about the terrorist attack in Libya, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell gushed: "This was President Andrew Shepherd really coming through in the East Room of the White House. Because this was President Obama saying, 'If you want to pick a fight with my U.N. ambassador, and blame her for something that was not her responsibility on Benghazi, then you come after me'....It was dramatic. He is angry."
NBC: Obama Defending Susan Rice's Phony Benghazi Story Like A 'Dramatic' Movie Moment
Mitchell continued: "I know from talking to the White House that they are very angry, they feel Susan Rice is being unfairly blamed, that she was working off of talking points from the intelligence community....[that] she should not be blamed for what she said about Benghazi."
Neither Williams nor Mitchell bothered to detail the mountain of evidence showing Rice's statements about the attack, on all five September 15 Sunday shows, to be patently untrue.
Here is a transcript of the exchange that occurred during November 14 post-press conference coverage:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: And Andrea, there couldn't be more going on right now. There was talk of the fiscal cliff. We have no CIA director. Benghazi's still around. The Israelis took out the head of Hamas today. And then, John McCain said that if the President puts up his U.N. ambassador, Susan Rice, to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, she will be blocked, they'll do everything in their power. That's where the President today almost conjuring the wording of Aaron Sorkin from the movie American President, as will be pointed out all day, really decided to throw down.
ANDREA MITCHELL: This was President Andrew Shepherd really coming through in the East Room of the White House. Because this was President Obama saying, "If you want to pick a fight with my U.N. ambassador, and blame her for something that was not her responsibility on Benghazi, then you come after me, John McCain and Lindsey Graham. Don't come after Susan Rice." It was dramatic. He is angry. I know from talking to the White House that they are very angry, they feel Susan Rice is being unfairly blamed, that she was working off of talking points from the intelligence community. And that in her Sunday appearance on Meet the Press, she should not be blamed for what she said about Benghazi.
Too many “Journalists” still have a Gay crush on Hussein.
Much leg tingling ensued.
He did the same faux indignation when the subject was brought up in one of the debates. To which, Romney wimped and shut up like a good little subject.
The four dead in Benghazi didn't warrant that much.
Reverse psychology works! MSM now has Susan in the crosshairs as the apparent focus of the rage.... Just as Obama intended.
Who the hell was blaming her? She was just doing as she was told.
Obama is CLAIMING people are picking on her. He is isolating a target other than himself. First the General, now her.
More like President Camacho.
“I know from talking to the White House”
Hmmmm. Nuff said.
I just can’t barf much longer.
Why the MSM still support this communists bastar! is beyond me. They are taking part in their own destruction. King Obama owns them and they are so damn blind not to see it. The MSM is about to come under the communists umbrella and they will be dictated to do what the Administration will tell them to do. Just a question of time.
NBC: Obama Defending Susan Rice’s Phony Benghazi Story Like A ‘Dramatic’ Movie Moment....
Or like Bill Clinton saying after being caught with the cigar in the cookie jar.
“NOW, I HAVE TO GET BACK TO WORK FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!”
“How do I love thee, Barack Obama.....let me count the ways. May I slobbereth unto thy visage as I licketh thee? May I “know” you even more? May I tote thy luggage while holding thy purse.....both of them? I longeth for the bath house with thee, oh annointed and great one......”
God how they make me want to wretch.
They won’t need to be told. They are already doing Husein’s bidding.
I saw the news conference live.
When Obama defended Susan Rice, it was as though a criminal defendant was addressing the jury, saying “how dare you blame my lawyer — she was just saying what her source told her to say!”
With the MSM it is all about access which I am certain is subject to being cut off for those organizations that don’t goose step to the beat.
First we had Bathhouse Barry.
Now we have Bathhouse Barry, Drama Queen.
What can 59 million people do about NBC?
They are ridiculous and I’m tired of it.
Andrea Mitchell compares Obama to a character in a movie? Ok, I’ll play:
Obama has trained the so called Journalists to keep being obedient like good dogs. If they do not behave properly they will be severely punished.
Obama's ploy today, was just sickening. He tried to make it look like everyone was attacking Susan Rice...and that he was her Big Brother defending her, coming to her rescue, the "good guy" that women would find admirable because the mean Republicans were picking on a woman. That was the goal.
It was so obvious that Obama just tried to divert the focus of the issue again. If he hadn't wanted Rice to be subjected to criticism and her words examined then...why did he put her out there to carry the message? The answer to that is...he is a coward - he was hiding behind her skirt - and now he is trying to look like some kind of Susan Rice protector.
Go ahead, Obama...show America that you are so brave that you are rushing to save Susan Rice from being questioned...but remember: You cannot defend the fact that you did not rush to protect the innocent Americans that were MURDERED while your Administration watched, in real time, the attack in Benghazi - and did nothing.
Any intelligent person knows Rice acted as Obama's puppet. No one was attacking Rice, per se - the attacks were on what she was repeatedly stating - and Obama and his Administration just used her to take the heat that they couldn't handle.
It’s what blacks crave.
...And why did Obama say this during the debates
“The day after the attack, Governor, I stood in the Rose Garden, and I told the American people and the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened, that this was an act of terror. And I also said that were going to hunt down those who committed this crime. And then a few days later, I was there greeting the caskets coming into Andrews Air Force Base and grieving with the families.”
... but send Rice out to talk about the video?
Faux indignation at its worst. No wonder Obama is the choice of idiots everywhere. He must look like a hero to those with an IQ of 2. Republicans had better not let this incompetent parrot become the next SOS. I wouldn’t nominate her for assistant manager at Bed Bath & Beyond.
Intractible projectile vomiting.
Transcript of President Obamas Press Conference
President Obama’s Press Conference: In his first news conference since June, President Obama faced questions on David H. Petraeus, Libya and taxes.
Published: November 14, 2012
The following is the complete transcript of President Obamas press conference on Wednesday in Washington. (Transcript courtesy of Federal News Service.)
Focus on Petraeus and Taxes as Obama Faces Media (November 15, 2012)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Good afternoon, everybody. Please have a seat.
I hear you have some questions for me (laughter) but let let me just make a few remarks at the top and then Ill open it up.
First of all, I want to reiterate what I said on Friday. Right now our economy is still recovering from a very deep and damaging crisis, so our top priority has to be jobs and growth. Weve got to build on the progress that weve made because this nation succeeds when weve got a growing, thriving middle class. And thats the idea at the core of the plan that I talked about on the campaign trail over the last year rewarding manufacturers and small businesses that create jobs here, not overseas; providing more Americans the chance to earn (sic) the skills that businesses are looking for right now; keeping this country at the forefront of research, technology and clean energy; putting people back to work rebuilding our roads, our bridges and our schools; and reducing our deficit in a balanced and responsible way.
Now, on this last item, we face a very clear deadline that requires us to make some big decisions on jobs, taxes and deficits by the end of the year. Both parties voted to set this deadline and I believe that both parties can work together to make these decisions in a balanced and responsible way.
Yesterday I had a chance to meet with labor and civic leaders for their input. Today Im meeting with CEOs of some of Americas largest companies. And Ill meet with leaders of both parties of Congress before the week is out because theres only one way to solve these challenges, and that is to do it together.
As Ive said before, Im open to compromise and Im open to new ideas. And Ive been encouraged over the past week to hear Republican after Republican agree for the need for more revenue from the wealthiest Americans as part of our arithmetic if were going to be serious about reducing the deficit because when it comes to taxes, there are two pathways available.
Option one, if Congress fails to act by the end of this year, everybodys taxes will automatically go up, including the 98 percent of Americans who make less than $250,000 a year and the 97 percent of small businesses who earn less than $250,000 a year. That doesnt make sense. Our economy cant afford that right now. Certainly no middle-class family can afford that right now.
And nobody in either party says that they want it to happen. The other option is to pass a law right now that would prevent any tax hike whatsoever on the first $250,000 of everybodys income. And by the way, that means every American, including the wealthiest Americans, get a tax cut. It means that 98 percent of all Americans and 97 percent of all small businesses wont see their taxes go up a single dime.
The Senate has already passed a law like this. Democrats in the House are ready to pass a law like this. And I hope Republicans in the House come on board too. We should not hold the middle class hostage while we debate tax cuts for the wealthy. We should at least do what we agree on, and thats to keep middle-class taxes lower. And Ill bring everyone in to sign it right away so we can give folks some certainty before the holiday season.
I wont pretend that figuring out everything else will be easy, but Im confident we can do it and I know we have to. I know that thats what the American people want us to do. That was a very clear message from the election last week. And that was the message of a letter that I received over the weekend. It came from a man in Tennessee who began by writing that he didnt vote for me, which is OK.
But what he said was even though he didnt give me his vote, hes giving me his support to move this country forward. And he said the same to his Republican representatives in Washington. He said that hell back each of us, regardless of party, as long as we work together to make life better for all of us. And he made it clear that if we dont make enough progress, hell be back in touch.
So my hope, he wrote, is that we can make progress in light of personal and party principles, special interest groups and years of business as usual. Weve got to work together and put our differences aside. I couldnt say it better myself. Thats precisely what I intend to do. And with that, let me open it up for your questions.
And Im going to start off with Ben Feller of AP.
Q: Thank you, Mr. President. Can you assure the American people that there have been no breaches of national security or classified information in the scandal involving Generals Petraeus and Allen? And do you think that you, as commander in chief, and the American people should have been told that the CIA chief was under investigation before the election?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I have no evidence at this point, from what Ive seen, that classified information was disclosed that in any way would have had a negative impact on our national security. Obviously, theres an ongoing investigation. I dont want to comment on the specifics of the investigation. The FBI has its own protocols in terms of how they proceed. And you know, Im going to let Director Mueller and others examine those protocols and make some statements to the public generally.
I do want to emphasize what Ive said before. General Petraeus had an extraordinary career.
He served this country with great distinction in Iraq, in Afghanistan and as head of the CIA.
By his own assessment, he did not meet the standards that he felt were necessary as the director of CIA with respect to this personal matter that he is now dealing with with his family and with his wife. And its on that basis that he tendered his resignation, and its on that basis that I accepted it. But I want to emphasize that, from my perspective at least, he has provided this country an extraordinary service. We are safer because of the work that Dave Petraeus has done. And my main hope right now is is that he and his family are able to move on and that this ends up being a single side note on what has otherwise been an extraordinary career.
Q: What about voters? Do they deserve to know?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know, again, I think youre going to have to talk to the FBI in terms of what their general protocols are when it comes to what started off as a potential criminal investigation. And one of the challenges here is is that were not supposed to meddle in, you know, criminal investigations. And thats been our practice. And you know, I think that there are certain procedures that both the FBI follow or DOJ follow when theyre involved in these investigations. Thats traditionally been how we view things, in part because people are innocent until proven guilty. And we want to make sure that we dont prejudge these kinds of situations. And so my expectation is is that they followed protocols that they already established.
(Inaudible) Jessica Yellin. Wheres Jessica? Right there.
Q: Mr. President, on the fiscal cliff two years ago, sir, you said that you wouldnt extend the Bush-era tax cuts, but at the end of the day, you did. So respectfully, sir, why should the American people and the Republicans believe that you wont cave again this time?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, two years ago the economy was in a different situation. We were still very much in the early parts of recovering from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. And ultimately, we came together, not only toe extend the Bush tax cuts, but also a wide range of policies that were going to be good for the economy at the point unemployment insurance extensions, payroll tax extension all of which made a difference, and is a part of the reason why what weve seen now is 32 consecutive months of job growth, and over 5 1/2 million jobs created, and the unemployment rate coming down.
But what I said at the time is what I meant, which is this was a one-time proposition. And you know, what I have told leaders privately as well as publicly is that we cannot afford to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. What we can do is make sure that middle-class taxes dont go up.
And so the most important step we can take right now, and, I think, the foundation for a deal that helps the economy, creates jobs, gives consumers certainty, which means gives businesses confidence that theyre going to have consumers during the holiday season, is if we right away say 98 percent of Americans are not going to see their taxes go up; 97 percent of small businesses are not going to see their taxes go up.
If we get that in place, we are actually removing half of the fiscal cliff. Half of the danger to our economy is removed by that single step.
And what we can then do is shape a process whereby we look at tax reform, which Im very eager to do. I think we can simplify our tax system. I think we can make it more efficient. We can eliminate loopholes and deductions that have a distorting effect on our economy.
I believe that we have to continue to take a serious look at how we reform our entitlements, because health care costs continue to be the biggest driver of our deficits.
So there is a package to be shaped, and Im confident that parties folks of good will in both parties can make that happen. But what Im not going to do is to extend Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent that we cant afford and, according to economists, will have the least positive impact on our economy.
Q: Youve said that the wealthiest must pay more. Would closing loopholes instead of raising rates for them satisfy you?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I think that there are loopholes that can be closed, and we should look at how we can make the process of deductions, the filing process easier, simpler.
But when it comes to the top 2 percent, what Im not going to do is to extend further a tax cut for folks who dont need it, which would cost close to a trillion dollars. And its very difficult to see how you make up that trillion dollars, if were serious about deficit reduction, just by closing loopholes in deductions. You know, the math tends not to work.
And I think its important to establish a basic principle that was debated extensively during the course of this campaign.
I mean, this shouldnt be a surprise to anybody. This was if there was one thing that everybody understood was a big difference between myself and Mr. Romney, it was, when it comes to how we reduce our deficit, I argued for a balanced, responsible approach, and part of that included making sure that the wealthiest Americans pay a little bit more.
I think every voter out there understood that that was an important debate, and the majority of voters agreed with me, not by the way, more voters agreed with me on this issue than voted for me.
So weve got a clear majority of the American people who recognize if were going to be serious about deficit reduction, weve got to do it in a balanced way.
The only question now is, are we going to hold the middle class hostage in order to go ahead and let that happen? Or can we all step back and say, heres something we agree on. We dont want middle- class taxes to go up. Lets go ahead and lock that in. That will be good for the economy. It will be good for consumers. It will be good for businesses. It takes the edge off the fiscal cliff. And lets also then commit ourselves to the broader package of deficit reduction that includes entitlement changes and it includes, potentially, tax reform, as well as Im willing to look at additional work that we can do on the discretionary spending side.
So I want a a big deal. I want a comprehensive deal. I want to see if we can, you know, at least for the foreseeable future provide certainty to businesses and the American people, so that we can focus on job growth, so that were also investing in the things that we need.
But right now what I want to make sure of is, is that taxes on middle-class families dont go up, and theres a very easy way to do that. We could get that done by next week.
OK. Lori Montenegro, Telemundo.
Q: Thank you, Mr. President. On immigration reform, the criticism in the past has been that you did not put forth legislation with specific ideas and send it up to the Hill. This time around, you have said again that this will be one of the top priorities for a second term. Will you then send legislation to the Hill. And exactly what do you envision is broad immigration reform? Does that include a legalization program? And also, what lessons, if any, did Democrats learn from this last election and the Latino vote?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I think what was incredibly encouraging was to see a significant increase in Latino turnout. This is the fastest-growing group in the country. And you know, historically what youve seen is Latino vote vote at lower rates than the broader population. And thats beginning to change. Youre starting to see a sense of empowerment and civic participation that I think is going to be powerful and good for the country.
And it is why I am very confident that we can get immigration reform done. You know, I before the election, I had given a couple of interviews where I had predicted that the Latino vote was going to be strong and that that would cause some reflection on the part of Republicans about their position on immigration reform. I think were starting to see that already. I think thats a positive sign.
This has not historically been a partisan issue. Weve had President Bush, John McCain and others who have supported comprehensive immigration reform in the past. So we need to seize the moment.
And my expectation is is that we get a bill introduced and we begin the process in Congress very soon after my inauguration. And in fact, some conversations, I think, are already beginning to take place among senators and congressmen and my staff about what would this look like.
And when I say comprehensive immigration reform and is very similar to the outlines of previous efforts at comprehensive immigration reform; I think it should include a continuation of the strong border security measures that weve taken, because we have to secure our borders. I think it should contain serious penalties for companies that are purposely hiring undocumented workers and taking advantage of them. And I do think that there should be a pathway for legal status for those who are living in this country, are not engaged in criminal activity, are here simply to work. Its important for them to pay back taxes, its important for them to learn English, its important for them to potentially pay a fine, but to give them the avenue whereby they can resolve their legal status here in this country, I think is very important.
Obviously, making sure that we put into law what the first step that weve taken administratively dealing with the DREAM Act kids is very important as well. One thing that Im Im very clear about is that young people who are brought here through no fault of their own, who have gone to school here, pledged allegiance to our flag, who want to serve in our military, who want to go to school and contribute to our society, that they shouldnt be under the cloud of deportation, that we should give them every opportunity to earn their citizenship.
And so, you know, there are other components to it, obviously. The business community continues to be concerned about getting enough high-skill workers. And I am a believer that if youve got a Ph.D. in physics or computer science, who wants to stay here and start a business here, we shouldnt make it harder for him to stay here. We should try to encourage him to contribute to this society.
I think that the agricultural sector obviously has very specific concerns about making sure that theyve got a workforce that helps deliver food to our tables.
So there are going to be a bunch of components to it, but I think whatever process we have needs to make sure border security is strong, needs to deal with employers effectively, needs to provide a pathway for the undocumented here, needs to deal with the Dream Act kids. And I think thats something that we can get done.
Chuck Todd. Wheres Chuck?
Q: Mr. President, I just want to follow up on a both Bens question and Jessicas question. On having to do with Bens question, are you
PRESIDENT OBAMA: How about Loris question? Do you want to follow up on that one too? (Laughter.)
Q: I you know, no, you I feel like you answered that one completely. (Laughter.)
Are you withholding judgment on whether you should have known sooner that there was a potential that there was an investigation into whether your CIA director potentially there was a national security breach with your CIA director? Do you believe you should have known sooner, or are you withholding judgment until the investigation is complete on that front?
And then the follow-up to Jessicas question: tax rates. Are you is there no deal at the end of the year if tax rates for the top 2 percent arent the Clinton tax rates, period, no if, ands or buts? Any room in negotiating on that specific aspect of the fiscal cliff?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I am I am withholding judgment with respect to how the entire process surrounding General Petraeus came up. You know, we dont have all the information yet. But I want to say that I have a lot of confidence generally in the FBI, and theyve got a difficult job. And so Im going to wait and see to see if theres any other
Q: (Off mic) though that you should have known? Do you think in hindsight (inaudible) have known?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I mean, Chuck, what Ill what Ill say is that if it is also possible that had we been told, then youd be sitting here asking a question about, why were you interfering in a criminal investigation? So, you know, I think its best right now for us to just see how this whole process unfolded.
With respect to the tax rates, I I just want to emphasize: I am open to new ideas. If the Republican counterparts or some Democrats have a great idea for us to raise revenue, maintain progressivity, make sure the middle class isnt getting hit, reduces our deficit, encourages growth, Im not going to just slam the door in their face. I want to hear I I want to I want to hear ideas from everybody.
Q: (Off mic.)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well look, I believe this is solvable. I think that fair-minded people can come to an agreement that does not cause the economy to go back into recession, that protects middle- class families, that focuses on jobs and growth and reduces our deficit. Im confident it can be done.
My budget, frankly, does it. I understand that I dont expect the Republicans simply to adopt my budget. Thats not realistic. So I recognize that were going to have to compromise. And as I said on election night, compromise is hard. And not everybody gets a hundred percent of what they want, and not everybodys going to be perfectly happy.
But what I will not do is to have a process that is vague, that says were going to sort of, kind of raise revenue through dynamic scoring or closing loopholes that have not been identified.
And the reason I wont do that is because I dont want to find ourselves in a position six months from now or a year from now where, lo and behold, the only way to close the deficit is to sock it to middle-class families or to burden families that have disabled kids or, you know, have a parent in a nursing home, or suddenly weve got to cut more out of our basic research budget that is the key to growing the economy in the long term.
So thats my concern. Im less concerned about red lines per se. What Im concerned about is not finding ourselves in a situation where the wealthy arent paying more or arent paying as much they should; middle-class families, one way or another, are making up the difference. Thats the kind of status quo that has been going on here too long, and thats exactly what I argued against during this campaign. And if theres one thing that Im pretty confident about is the American people understood what they were getting when they gave me this incredible privilege of being in office for another four years. They want compromise. They wanted action. But they also want to make sure that middle-class folks arent bearing the entire burden and sacrifice when it comes to some of these big challenges. They expect that folks at the top are doing their fair share as well, and thats going to be my guiding principle during these negotiations but, more importantly, during the next four years of my administration.
Q: Thank you, Mr. President.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Yeah.
Q: Mr. President, on election night you said that you were looking forward to speaking with Governor Romney, sitting down in the coming weeks to discuss ways that you could work together on this nations problems. Have you extended that invitation? Has he accepted? And in what ways do you think you can work together?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know, we havent scheduled something yet. I think everybody forgets that the election was only a week ago. And I know Ive forgotten. (Laughter.) I forgot on Wednesday. (Chuckles, laughter.) So you know (chuckles) I think everybody needs to catch their breath. I Im sure that Governor Romney is spending some time with his family. And my hope is, before the end of the year, though, that we have a chance to to sit down and talk.
You know, there there are certain aspects of Governor Romneys record and his ideas that I think could be very helpful. And well, to give you one example, I do think he did a terrific job running the Olympics. And you know, that skill set of trying to figure out how do we make something work better applies to the federal government. There are a lot of ideas that I dont think are partisan ideas but are just smart ideas about how can we make the federal government more customer-friendly? How can we make sure that, you know, were consolidating programs that are duplicative? You know, how can we eliminate additional waste?
He he presented some ideas during the course of the campaign that I actually agree with. And so itd be interesting to talk to him about something like that. There may be ideas that he has with respect to jobs and growth that can help middle-class families that I want to hear. So you know, Im not Im not either prejudging what hes interested in doing, nor am I suggesting Ive got some specific assignment. But I what I want to do is to is to get ideas from him and see if see if there are some ways that we can potentially work together.
Q: But when it comes to your relationships with Congress, one of the most frequent criticisms weve heard over the past few years from members on both sides is that you havent done enough to reach out and build relationships. Are there concrete ways that you plan to approach your relationships with Congress in the second term?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Look, I think theres no doubt that I can always do better. And so I will, you know, examine ways that I can make sure to communicate my desire to work with everybody, so long as its advancing the cause of strengthening our middle class and improving our economy.
You know, Ive got a lot of good relationships with folks both in the House and the Senate. I have a lot of relationships on both sides of the aisle. It hasnt always manifested itself in the kind of agreements that Id like to see between Democrats and Republicans, and so I think all of us have responsibilities to see if there are things that we can improve on. And I dont exempt myself from needing to, you know, do some self-reflection and see if I can improve our working relationship.
There are probably going to be still some very sharp differences. And as I said during the campaign, there are going to be times where there are fights. And I think those are fights that need to be had. But what I think the American people dont want to see is a focus on the next election instead of a focus on them. And I dont have another election.
And you know, Michelle and I were talking last night about, you know, what an incredible honor and privilege it is to be put in this position. And there are people all across this country, millions of folks whove worked so hard to help us get elected. But there are also millions of people who may not have voted for us but are also counting on us.
And you know, we take that responsibility very seriously. I take that responsibility very seriously. And I hope and intend to be an even better president in the second term than I was in the first.
Q: Thank you, Mr. President. Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham both said today that they want to have Watergate-style hearings on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and said that if you nominate Susan Rice to be secretary of state, they will do everything in their power to block her nomination. As Senator Graham said, he simply doesnt trust Ambassador Rice after what she said about Benghazi. Id like your reaction to that. And would those threats deter you from making a nomination like that?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, first of all, Im not going to comment at this point on various nominations that Ill put forward to fill out my Cabinet for the second term. Those are things that are still being discussed.
But let me say specifically about Susan Rice, she has done exemplary work. She has represented the United States and our interests in the United Nations with skill and professionalism and toughness and grace. As Ive said before, she made an appearance at the request of the White House in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her. If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. And Im happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador, who had nothing to do with Benghazi and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received and to besmirch her reputation is outrageous.
And you know, were after an election now. I think it is important for us to find out exactly what happened in Benghazi, and Im happy to cooperate in any ways that Congress wants. We have provided every bit of information that we have, and we will continue to provide information. And weve got a full-blown investigation, and all that information will be disgorged to Congress.
And I dont think theres any debate in this country that when you have four Americans killed, thats a problem. And weve got to get to the bottom of it, and there needs to be accountability. Weve got to bring those who carried it out to justice. They wont get any debate from me on that.
But when they go after the U.N. ambassador, apparently because they think shes an easy target, then theyve got a problem with me. And should I choose if I think that she would be the best person to serve America in the capacity the State Department, then I will nominate her. Thats not a determination that Ive made yet.
Yeah. Ed Henry.
Q: I want to take Chucks lead and just ask a very small follow- up, which is whether you feel you have a mandate, not just on taxes, but on a range of issues, because of your decisive victory. But I want to stay on Benghazi, based on what John (sp) asked, because you said, if they want to come after me, come after me. I wanted to ask about the families of these four Americans who were killed. Sean Smiths father, Ray, said he believes his so basically called 911 for help, and they didnt get it. And I know youve said you grieve for these four Americans, that its being investigated. But the families have been waiting for more than two months. So I would like to for you to address the families, if you can: On 9/11, as commander in chief, did you issue any orders to try to protect their lives?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Ed, you know, Ill address the families not through the press. Ill address the families directly, as I already have. And we will provide all the information that is available about what happened on that day. Thats what the investigation is for. But as I said repeatedly, if people dont think that we did everything we can to make sure that we saved the lives of folks who I sent there, and who were carrying out missions on behalf of the United States, then you dont know how our Defense Department thinks or our State Department thinks or our CIA thinks. Their number one priority is obviously to protect American lives. Thats what our job is.
Q: (Off mic.)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Ed, what Ill put forward I will put forward every bit of information that we have. I can tell you that immediately upon finding out that our folks were in danger, that my orders to my National Security team were do whatever we need to do to make sure theyre safe. And thats the same order that I would give anytime that I see Americans are in danger, whether theyre civilian or military, because thats our number one priority.
With respect to the issue of mandate, Ive got one mandate. Ive got a mandate to help middle-class families and families that are working hard to try to get into the middle class. Thats my mandate. Thats what the American people said. They said, work really hard to help us.
Dont worry about the politics of it. Dont worry about the party interests. Dont worry about the special interests. Just work really hard to see if you can help us get ahead, because were working really hard out here and were still struggling, a lot of us. Thats my mandate.
I dont presume that because I won an election, that everybody suddenly agrees with me on any everything. Im more than familiar with all the literature about presidential overreach in second terms. We are very cautious about that.
On the other hand, I didnt get re-elected just to bask in re- election. I got elected to do work on behalf of American families and small businesses all across the country who are still recovering from a really bad recession but are hopeful about the future. And and I am too.
The one thing that, you know, I said during the campaign that maybe sounds like a bunch of campaign rhetoric but now that the campaigns over Im going to repeat it, and hopefully you guys will really believe me when you travel around the country, you are inspired by the grit and resilience and hard work and decency of the American people. And it just makes you want to work harder. You know, you meet families who are you know, have overcome really tough odds and somehow are making it and sending their kids to college. And you you meet young people who are doing incredible work in disadvantaged communities because they believe in, you know, the American ideal and it should be available for everybody. And yeah, you meet farmers who are helping each others during times of drought, and you know, you meet businesses that kept their doors open during the recession even though the owner didnt have to take a salary.
And you when you talk to these folks, you say to yourself, man, they deserve a better government than theyve been getting. They they deserve all of us here in Washington to be thinking every single day, how can I make things a little better for them? Which isnt to say that everything we do is going to be perfect or that there arent just going to be some big, tough challenges that we have to grapple with.
But I do know the federal government can make a difference. We were seeing it right now on the Jersey coast and in New York. People are still going through a really tough time. The response hasnt been perfect. But its been aggressive and strong and fast and robust. And a lot of people have been helped because of it. And thats a pretty good metaphor for how I want the federal government to operate generally, and Im going to do everything I can to make sure it does.
Christi Parsons. Hey.
Q: Thank you, Mr. President, and congratulations, by the way.
Hey, it's all taking shape, now, isn't it?
Obama will be laying all the blame for the multiple-lies fest firmly at the feet of General Petraeus (as many of us suspected he would all along here on FR).
But the article above contains the really great tip-off in the reference to the intel organizations, i.e., "provided by the intelligence community".
IMHO the General will manfully "accept the blame" as in "the buck stops here" BS, but he will actually blame someone or something else for HIS bad information.
The deal's been made. "Davey" (Paula's name for him, not mine) will retain his retirement perks, his rank, no courts-martial.....just for taking the blame, Mame.
After all, he has nothing to lose by this, just part of his honor (the 47% will love him for falling on his sword)....and everything to gain with a Chicago-style deal.
Like MacArthur, he can fade away into retirement in Hawaii, live the good life....and play a couple rounds of golf with Obama every week when the Fascist-in-Chief moves into his villa-by-the-sea....and Petraeus will let Obama win every time from force of habit.
(Boy, do I hope I'm all wet on this and there is some honor left in Mudville).
Obama’s mistaken. By criticizing Ambassador Rice, we are criticizing him. He sent her out with a BS story.
Dear Idiots at NBC: President Obama is not angry, he is scared. Ask your little social scientists what it means when somebody does this in public. He’s scared. I think he laid an egg.
...she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her... who had nothing to do with Benghazi and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received...
Notice that he didn't say their best understanding of the intelligence provided to them. He's attempting to give himself wiggle-room he can drive a truck through, for later on. Mark my words: the investigation is going to come back to this statement-- and as the truck drives through that hole, he's going to throw her right under.
This, of course, begs the question: Why send the UN Ambassador out to all these talk shows. She doesn't have anything to do with the chain-of-command in charge of embassies. If you're going to send someone in the State Department, why not someone that actually speaks from authority? Is it because no one qualified would be caught dead carrying that muddy water? Is it because she had no dog in the fight, no responsibility, so no one could attack her, and she might be able to lend credence to the story?
What puzzles me: all of these MSM types know their own organizations are shrinking; fellow libs are getting fired, downsized, or getting less prestigious jobs w less pay.
So, they care more about BO than their own well-being and people in their own world? Are they too stupid to understand that Obamanomics are causing the contraction?
Makes no sense to me, and this phenomenon is going to accelerate - look at Newsweek.
Exactly. Where are the psychologists to point out what this indignation really represents? I guess my experience with sociopaths has been such that I can now spot it easily. A nerve has been hit and narcissistic rage is kicking in. The idiots are really showing their ignorance when they describe this behavior as ‘dramatic’ and somehow noble.
I agree. He is VERY SCARED. He’s a textbook narcicisst. Very cool characters UNTIL they are exposed. He knows that Benghazi is going to be his Waterloo....this is NOT going away, no matter how many dopey women they try to distract with. That stand down order(s) came from HIM. He knows it is going to be revealed.
I’ve predicted a major meltdown from this creep for a long while. I thought it would come during the election—was SURE he would have been exposed by then—but the media dragged him over the finish line. But, Benghazi is going to be investigated and he is going to have to own it.
Things are going to get ugly, very quickly friends. I don’t know exactly how this ends, but once the Benghazi crap comes out, he’s going to lose it.
Why was the UN Ambassador being briefed by the CIA, why was she acting as a spokesperson for the CIA? She was told that if she went out and ran cover she would be the next Sec State,
God, I pray Petraeus find some patriotism and tells the truth. And I hope he says “I was saying what I was told to say. My military training kicked in and I followed orders. I now regret doing so.”
She was sent out for the exact reason we saw today... so Obama could let her off the hook by claming she had nothing to do with Benghazi.
With the MSM it is all about access which I am certain is subject to being cut off for those organizations that dont goose step to the beat.
Agree. These are probably posh, look at me , assignments they dont want to lose
Yep...the mighty Davey will strike out.
They were typical “white people” not worth the effort.
I believe Ms Rice was the only one in the room of a dozen people who volunteered to take the story to the networks. She would simply memorize what they gave her and repeat it word for word. You have to remember....our UN ambassador doesn’t get inside of the President’s circle on a daily basis. She basically did this as the favor to ensure she got the State Department job...my humble opinion. At present....she needs only 51 members of the Senate to be approved. There’s at least three Democratic senator who probably won’t give her a thumbs-up. But I think she will pass through to be the next Secretary of State.
This was on the 15th and as eyeCandy Crowley and Bowbama unequivocally announced at the debate, it was called an act of terror (actually it wasn't, check the transcript) in the Rose Garden on the 12th. Which way is it? Lyin' SOB!
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