Skip to main content

A little tidbit from Railfan in the comments:

Rich Williamson - I covered him when he campaigned in western IL for the U.S. Senate in 1992 (he lost to Carol Moseley-Braun). He was an arrogant asshat then, expecting the small town newspaper reporter to simply write down what he said without any of that amusing "fact checking." He's an arrogant asshat now.

By the way, he was Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs from February 1988 to March 1989. He was preceded by ... Allen Keyes ... and succeeded by ... wait for it! ... John Bolton.

Talk about'cher three stooges.

Transcript (bolding is mine):

MITCHELL: Mitt Romney in Florida this morning, standing by his original statement, the printed statement last night, regarding the events in Libya and Egypt, as reporters were plying him with questions about the timing of his comments. And joining me now, Richard Williamson, former Ambassador to the United Nations for Special Political Affairs, currently a senior foreign adviser to the Romney campaign. Ambassador, thank you very much for joining us. What about the questions that have been raised about the Romney campaign jumping on this with a statement while we didn't even know the identities of who had died, and without knowing the timeline of what had happened?

WILLIAMSON: You know, as a lawyer, I'm familiar with the old saw that when you don't have the facts, you argue process. And that's what's going on here with the White House trying to have a discussion of timing of a statement. The fact is, the substance of what the Governor said last night was true. He continues to stand by it. We shouldn't be on an apology tour, but rather, be aggressive in condemning this breach of sovereign American soil.

We should be defending our principles of free speech and pluralism, and first and foremost, this morning, when we've learned that a life was lost and other lives were lost, we have to be conscious of our condolences and sympathy and appreciation for their service. But the substance of what the Governor said last night was true then and it's true now. And the American people have a choice to make and it's between an administration that apologizes for our values and principles and someone who stands up for it.

MITCHELL: Ambassador-

WILLIAMSON: Someone who lead from behind, which contributed to the turmoil and someone who wants to lead from the front.

MITCHELL: Forgive me for interrupting. How is it an apology for our values to issue a statement before a protest even happens? You're suggesting, and Governor Romney is suggesting -

WILLIAMSON: Because, because-

MITCHELL: - that the – that the statement from Cairo was apologizing for something that had not happened for another six hours. That's why process matters. Facts matter.

WILLIAMSON: Andrea, I believe if you – I believe if your reporters on the ground check, it was reissued after the U.S. compound in Cairo was breached. Second, it-

MITCHELL: It was on a website and may not have been taken down, I don't know that to be the facts.

WILLIAMSON: It's my understanding it was reissued, it was not taken down, and, in fact, the White House didn't respond and back away from it and say they did not approve of the statement until many hours later, after President Obama had seen the statement from Governor Romney.

MITCHELL: Do you think it was appropriate for Governor Romney to issue a statement last night, when the State Department, the CIA, the White House, were all scrambling to try to find out who were these Americans? One American, we now know the Ambassador, had been carried by Libyans to the hospital, the identities were still trying to be ascertained. They were trying to notify next of kin. And then again today, for Mitt Romney to come out in the 10:00 half hour, before the President of the United States made a scheduled statement at 10:35, does it seem to be injecting politics into a national tragedy?

WILLIAMSON: Andrea, you're an experienced reporter. You've had the same questions asked about your own reporting from time to time. You have seen American political personalities make misstatements in difficult times. The American people are being asked to make a decision between the failed policies of President Obama and the proposals of Governor Romney. Governor Romney has said that you shouldn't hesitate to stand up for our values. That's what he did last night.

You're engaging in a process question. The importance is the substance of what's going on in the Middle East, where the U.S. is being compromised and in retreat. Where there's turmoil because we failed to lead, whether it's in the broader Middle East, in Syria, in Iran. Those are the questions the American people want, not the White House desire to have a discussion about process and timing.

MITCHELL: Well, I was just interviewing ambassador Nic Burns, who as you know, first served under George Herbert Walker Bush and has served as a foreign service officer and ambassador in two administrations.

WILLIAMSON: He first served under Jimmy Carter. I mean, he served as a foreign service officer first under Jimmy Carter, then Reagan. Yes, he's fair ambassador and I respect him.

MITCHELL: And served with Condoleezza Rice and was appointed an ambassador by George – by George W. Bush.

WILLIAMSON: And I respect him. He could have a different view, so what?

MITCHELL: Okay. As you said, facts matter.

And for fun:

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  It wasn't an apology!!1!! (12+ / 0-)

    We have a greed with which we have agreed. -Eddie Vedder "Society"

    by Jacoby Jonze on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 01:48:20 PM PDT

  •  This was the key - (9+ / 0-)
    MITCHELL: Do you think it was appropriate for Governor Romney to issue a statement last night, when the State Department, the CIA, the White House, were all scrambling to try to find out who were these Americans? One American, we now know the Ambassador, had been carried by Libyans to the hospital, the identities were still trying to be ascertained. They were trying to notify next of kin. And then again today, for Mitt Romney to come out in the 10:00 half hour, before the President of the United States made a scheduled statement at 10:35, does it seem to be injecting politics into a national tragedy?

    WILLIAMSON: Andrea, you're an experienced reporter. You've had the same questions asked about your own reporting from time to time. You have seen American political personalities make misstatements in difficult times. The American people are being asked to make a decision between the failed policies of President Obama and the proposals of Governor Romney. Governor Romney has said that you shouldn't hesitate to stand up for our values. That's what he did last night.

    Really it was a misstatement in difficult times?  Mitt is freaking running for President of the United States and didn't think it prudent to get his friggin' facts right?  And then he doubled and tripled down by holding his own presser before the President of the United States gives his statement - and that's a right decision?

    We have a greed with which we have agreed. -Eddie Vedder "Society"

    by Jacoby Jonze on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 01:51:52 PM PDT

  •  What's important is the timeline (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ItsSimpleSimon, Olympia, high5, Supavash, Sylv

    Bringing this comment over from TheObamaDiary.com:

    Need some ‘splainin……if the memo from Cairo was sent out 6 hrs before any attacks on our embassy…according to Andrea Mitchell she received the embargoed statement from Rmoney around 10:pm the same time she received a notice that the consulate in Libya was attacked.(with no information)..so therefore Robme had written that statement PRIOR to 10:PM….how did they know about the attacks on the embassies way BEFORE Andrea Mitchell did?…Reread his statement…although his campaign is now saying it was a reaction ONLY to the Cairo statement….am I making sense?….something doesn’t add up….and then the RUSH to get on air SMUGLY before PBO, the next day……Am I reading this right?
    The Romney for Plutocrat campaign needs to answer some questions.

    The choice of our lifetime: Mitt Romney, It Takes A Pillage or President Barack Obama, Forward Together.

    by FiredUpInCA on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 01:53:43 PM PDT

  •  Rich Williamson: Once an asshat... (12+ / 0-)

    I covered him when he campaigned in western IL for the U.S. Senate in 1992 (he lost to Carol Moseley-Braun). He was an arrogant asshat then, expecting the small town newspaper reporter to simply write down what he said without any of that amusing "fact checking." He's an arrogant asshat now.

    By the way, he was Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs from February 1988 to March 1989. He was preceded by ... Allen Keyes ... and succeeded by ... wait for it! ... John Bolton.

    Talk about'cher three stooges.

  •  Wow, "Facts matter" (7+ / 0-)

    Better late than never, Andrea

    "Well, the problem here is that you're out of candy. You're gonna need more candy." Rachel Maddow on the Big Bailout

    by cishart on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 02:13:38 PM PDT

  •  You know its bad when Andrea... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Olympia, flatford39, Sylv, Debby

    "married to ryand groupie" mitchell is attacking the republican party. Watch, all the business interests are smelling a loser and soon will flood tons of money to obama and the dems in the coming days to make sure they dont get killed by legislation in the second term.

  •  Lies on top of lies (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, myboo, bluezen, madhaus, Ex Con

    "We should be defending our principles of free speech and pluralism, and first and foremost, this morning, when we've learned that a life was lost and other lives were lost, ..."

    This is what Mitt had to say NOT IN THE MORNING, BUT THE NIGHT BEFORE, in the "embargoed" statement sent ~10PM and got released on 9/11 anyway:

    “I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”
    Note that Mitt Romney KNEW of the death of an American consulate worker.

    While trying to find that quote again, I ran across THIS from Talking Points Memo.  Either someone at the NYTimes got that quote exceedingly wrong, or it's being whitewashed to ERASE the fact that Romney knew people, most likely the ambassador, were murdered at the time he leveled his false accusations at our Cairo embassy and President Obama.  Was the editor that made the changes named Smith? Winston Smith?

    If this it true, it's yet another bloody damn outrage in a series of them:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/...

    (I don't know what to think about Mitchel.  She is either a intentionally letting herself be used, or just too polite to really be doing what she is doing.)

  •  That's Assistant TO THE Secretary of State (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    newinfluence, Debby


    Sincerely,
    Michael Scott



    "A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous..........got me?" - Don Van Vliet

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 02:28:31 PM PDT

  •  Andrea Has Never Cared About Facts Before. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Olympia, bluezen, a2nite

    Well other than the ones she made up.

    The Republican Party is Simply a Coalition of Greed and Hate

    by kerplunk on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 03:13:22 PM PDT

  •  I saw the interview live yesterday. He was an... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluezen, madhaus, dagnome, newinfluence, Ex Con

    asshat, for sure. I saw him live on CNN, too.
    I kept thinking: Is this the best the Romney campaign can put on TV to defend the indefensible? He looked STOOPID while smirking away.
    I sure hope voters remember this misfire in November.

    I share a birthday with John Lennon.

    by peacestpete on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 03:37:35 PM PDT

  •  I was hoping he would keep talking (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ex Con

    Andrea Mitchell is never the quickest interviewer... I think she takes a lot longer to get her subjects to say something than a host has time for. She might be a good reporter, but I'm not a fan of her as a host or live presenter. But this interview was one of those instances where her style gave Williamson the time to hang himself with his own rope. When I was watching this yesterday, all I could think was that every smarmy, blustery, overbearing word he said made President Obama look better. The less Andrea said, the happier I was. But when she slipped in that line at the end, it was like a dagger. She went to commercial break with a discrediting attack on the lying liar who was defending another lying liar's lies. IMHO, it was brilliant.

    "Mitt Romney isn't a vulture capitalist: vultures only eat things that are dead." -S. Colbert

    by newinfluence on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 04:25:23 PM PDT

  •  I am glad to see this diary. (0+ / 0-)

    I saw this interview in real time. What an obfuscating POS! His arguments about facts and process were ludicrous. Andrea came back strong on that but she really let the dirt bag talk to long.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    by Ex Con on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 06:46:22 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site