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"Nothing But Sleaze" is how Josh Marshall at TPM just summed up the appearance of Romney foreign policy adviser Richard Williamson on Fox News earlier today.

Richard Williamson is Mitt Romney’s top foreign policy advisor, the guy who orchestrated Romney’s original effort to exploit the attack in Libya before it was even clear the US Ambassador had died. Now he’s saying that Romney will insist Obama “man up” and take responsibility for the Ambassador’s death at tonight’s debate.

This comes as the latest reports from Libya make clear that the entire ‘scandal’ Romney and his crew have tried to whip up is as baseless as you might have expected. People in Libya actually still think the attack was tied to the notorious video tape. Whether that’s right and that’s true isn’t clear. But it’s more evidence of the actual uncertainty over just what happened and how much success the Romney camp has had gaming the political press into imagining a scandal or “cover up” at the heart of this.

The real story is basically what it was the night of — Mitt Romney giddy to exploit US deaths as quickly as possible.

Apparently, the crack team of advisers that had Mitt embarrass himself the night of the Libya attacks are now revealing their advice to Mitt for his debate performance tonight:

“I think Governor Romney, quite properly, will be asking questions, probing, and trying to ask the president to man up, accept his responsibility and explain to the American people the failure that resulted in four American deaths," Williamson said.
He later added of Obama: “He can run but he’s not going to be able to hide. He’s going to have to man up and tell the American people what he knew, when he knew it and what he’s doing.”

Nothing makes my blood boil more than the notion that a shape-shifting pathological liar like Mitt Romney should be suggesting that President Obama "man up." I look forward to watching President Obama clean Mitt Romney's clock tonight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The same guy that can't release 5 years of tax (30+ / 0-)

    returns, evaded Vietnam, shipped lots of jobs to China and hides behind his wife is going to tell our President anything about being a man?

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:43:29 AM PDT

  •  Mitt has no business intervering with national (13+ / 0-)

    crisis right now.  He needs to stand down until the embers cool.  I feared McCain/Palin would spark an international incident from their careless remarks, but I'm in sheer PANIC mode with Romney's ignorant responses.  

  •  Man I have a feeling (12+ / 0-)

    Obama will have a strong response for Mitt tonight. I honestly can't wait.

  •  First Romney equates the Prez (19+ / 0-)

    with his lying BOYS, and now instructs the Prez to BE A MAN?

    Dog-whistling much, racist assholes?

  •  asdf (16+ / 0-)

    Here is how Mr. Obama should reply:

    "Why, I would be happy to explain. Acting on intellligence reports and warning, my State Department requested over $300 million in additional embassy security funding last year - but the GOP-controlled House (of which your running mate is a member) of Representatives voted 'NO" to BOTH requests (as did your running mate). Any more questions, governor?"

    Sadly, everything Communism said about itself was a lie. Even more sadly,, everything Communism said about Capitalism was the truth.

    by GayIthacan on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:47:38 AM PDT

    •  I like that answer b/c it's true (0+ / 0-)
    •  Yeah, I do have a question. (0+ / 0-)

      Why haven't you been effective at persuading the Congress to follow your leadership? I mean, we have had 4 years of this failure to lead, and each failure is accompanied by a litany of excuses. As President, I will simply not allow these failures. I won't be always coming back to the American people with some lame saga about who was at fault.

      That's the kind of thing Romney would say.

      For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

      by Anne Elk on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:00:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
        I won't be always coming back to the American people with some lame saga about who was at fault.
        Didn;t you just try to establish fault not 30 seconds ago?

        I mean, we know you can flip-flop at supersonic speed - but this may be a record.

        Sadly, everything Communism said about itself was a lie. Even more sadly,, everything Communism said about Capitalism was the truth.

        by GayIthacan on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:02:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am just suggesting what Romney (0+ / 0-)

          could say in response.

           I also don't have to be consistent. Deal with it.

          For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

          by Anne Elk on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:30:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  why would Obama have to man up (15+ / 0-)

    I would think that Mitt has a lot more to man up about than Obama in terms of justifying himself to the American people.

    Bush never manned up about the original 9/11.

    Romney has never manned up about his tax plan, his jobs plans, his own tax returns, an violent episode against a classmate because his hair wasn't just the right length, offshoring American jobs, or his glee to celebrate the deaths of Americans and every other bad thing that happens to Americans, be it bad jobs numbers or closure of another business (even when he profits)  because he thinks it will get him votes.

    It is childish school yard shit, but what else can you expect from Mitt.  He's still a bully boy at the private school and I doubt he will ever emotionally mature past 16.

  •  And the thing is (7+ / 0-)

    The guy's father has already said to stop trying to exploit this for political gain. I have a feeling Obama will bring that up and clean his clock.

  •  out of all the reponses Obama has studied (8+ / 0-)

    for the debate I am sure this is one of them.

    i remember how Obama didnt mention the 47%, i think the obama people knew mitts would have a good response and decided they wouldnt give mitts the opportunity. wonder if the romney people realize that.

    and the NY times piece gives obama some breathing room. not that he really needed it- what a stupid non scandal.

    and this makes my blood boil too. that man up is nothing but a response with a  manly man phrase

    "With malice toward none, with charity for all..." -Abraham Lincoln not a modern republican

    by live1 on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:50:53 AM PDT

  •  The man who ordered the raid on bin Laden ... (10+ / 0-)

    ... is man enough for me.

    "It does not require many words to speak the truth." -- Chief Joseph, native American leader (1840-1904)

    by highfive on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:52:02 AM PDT

  •  Why will Romney be "asking questions, (7+ / 0-)

    probing" in the first place?

    It's not the place of the other debater in such a contest to suddenly take on the role of moderator. He's not supposed to be asking questions of the other participant -- he's supposed to be answering them!

    So, Romney's just going to bully his way through this debate as well? Great.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:53:20 AM PDT

  •  Biden beat this one over the head and shoulders. (5+ / 0-)

    And people really don't care about this issue.

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:56:21 AM PDT

    •  But I bet Candy spends almost half the debate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg, astral66

      talking about Libya, taxes, and the deficit.

      The American people care about other issues like jobs and healthcare and many others.

      I just hope there are questions about womens health,  LGBT equality,  the Dream Act, civil rights including where the President can highlight what is wrong with Show Us Your Papers that GOP wants to make nationwide policy,  and about how MItt wants to start wars with several countries.

      Also please please let there be a question about equal pay for equal work and how badly women are treated in the workplace and how Lily Leadbetter is a start.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:12:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  That's gonna be pretty funny (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    astral66, Cedwyn, ozsea1, mirandasright

    ..coming from a robot desperately trying to mimic human emotions.

    Hope the retort from Obama is worth watching.

    Perhaps Willard should "man-up" and show us his tax returns and take responsibility for off-shoring American jobs in order to make himself and his cronies even wealthier.

    Perhaps one day the Fourth Estate will take their jobs seriously. Or not.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:58:40 AM PDT

  •  Man up? (4+ / 0-)

    The perfect response would be, "Grow up. This isn't a frat prank."

    "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

    by sagesource on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:59:59 AM PDT

  •  one angle I haven't heard discussed much (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, astral66, cassandracarolina

    is that the administration's "cover up" was intentional in order to facilitate the investigation on the ground in Libya.  Being that we now know that the safe-house was a CIA facility, I am sure the CIA had a good idea what happened immediately.   It is conceivable that the administration would provide disinformation to the public so the group that is responsible may relax and think we are on the wrong trail.  

    The idea that the administration was trying to cover something up doesn't really make much sense in the first place.  They weren't trying to pretend nothing happened.  Are the optics of an disorganized angry mob of Muslims killing the ambassador significantly better than the optics of an semi-organized wanna-be terrorist group killing the ambassador? What was the supposed goal of this "cover-up"?

  •  I hate to say I told you so, but who could have (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerry J

    predicted that an intervention whose main purpose was to boost Sarko's sagging popularity in France, and to reinforce Obama's hawkish Foreign Policy macho cred would have resulted in another disaster?

    A lot of kossacks were posting diaries in support of the intervention back then. I would like to see a follow up from some of these folks. Have they learned a lesson here?

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:06:02 AM PDT

    •  So you think (0+ / 0-)

      the intervention in Libya was responsible for this attack? The terrorists would leave us alone if we didn't mess with Gaddafi? From what I understand, the attack was planned as revenge for the killing of some al Qaeda leader or another.

      Should we just let them do what they want, until they decide to attack us again?

      "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

      by happy camper on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:35:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not so sure its Al Qaeda connected (0+ / 0-)

        Latest info in my paper today is that it was not connected to Al Qaeda. That local folks who were there say it did, in fact, start with the issue of the video.

        To Libyans who witnessed the assault and know the attackers, there is little doubt what occurred: a well-known group of local Islamist militants struck without any warning or protest, and they did it in retaliation for the video. That is what the fighters said at the time, speaking emotionally of their anger at the video without mentioning Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or the terrorist strikes of 11 years earlier. And it is an explanation that tracks with their history as a local militant group determined to protect Libya from Western influence.

        " can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem." Mitt Romney

        by Catte Nappe on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 11:30:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I hope mittens uses that line (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, wishingwell

    All Obama has to do is mention all the embassy attacks that happened while bush was in office and ask him why he didn't tell bush to man up?  Because of politics, thats why.  Mittens is using the deaths of those people for political gain.  Mittens will then respond with word salad.

  •  The terrorists are responsible for the attack..not (3+ / 0-)

    The American government.

  •  If Romney goes this route...election over (4+ / 0-)

    Obama will compare to 9/11/2001. He'll say something like, "11 years ago, Al-Qaida launched a horrific attack on our soil. The fault for that attack does not lie with my predecessor, George W. Bush, nor does it lie with his predecessor, Bill Clinton. The fault lies with the men and organization which orchestrated the attack. Americans know that and pulled together like no other time in recent history to demonstrate that. For the last 11 years, in both Bush's administration and my own, our nation has tirelessly pursued justice and sought through military and diplomatic channels to protect ourselves as best we can from further attacks. Last month, several of our embassies suffered from coordinated attacks that may well be the work of organizations related to Al-Qaida. At our embassy in Benghazi, we suffered the tragedy of losing four outstanding and dedicated foreign service personnel. As with the attacks on September 11, 2001, the fault for this outrageous attack lies with the perpetrators, and America can rest assured that as long as I am Commander-in-Chief, we will pursue and bring to justice anyone who supported that attack. This is not a time to score political points by Monday morning quarterbacking security plans and blaming the good guys for an attack pulled off by the bad guys. That's not who we are as a people. We will, of course, learn from our mistakes as a nation, but this process should never be in the realm of politics. "

  •  There are two implications in that statement (3+ / 0-)

    First off, I think was said so close to the debate as to try to put President Obama off guard.  They did this before the last debate when they put out the notion that Mitt was practicing lots of "zingers".  He ended up not really using any zingers.  But I bet it messed with the heads of those planning President Obama's responses.  So, that may be all it is.

    But secondly, this may be a not-so-subtle dig at the President because Hillary Clinton stepped up and took the blame.  He let Sec'y Clinton take the fall instead of taking the responsibility.

    This line of reasoning will only work on a small number of voters, but it will indeed sway some - especially males who the term "man up" would be effective with.

    It is important for President Obama to take charge of the Benghazi situation tonight.. to own it.  Since Hillary decided to take blame, there no longer can be the excuse that is was unforeseen.  In addition, the apparent misdirection (I am being kind here.. it was telling tall tales) by Ambassador Rice for nearly two weeks will also need explaining.

    •  Except that, as the Wall Street Journal ... (0+ / 0-)

      ...editorialized today, Clinton SHOULD have taken responsibility; it's her bailiwick. Never mind that she had already done so when they editorial was published. Despite Truman's "buck stops here" desk sign, the reality is that everything goes wrong during a president's term is not his fault.

      It's truly amazing how Romney as governor spoke about how Sept. 11, 2001, couldn't be laid at the feet of George W. Bush but how Sept. 11, 2012, is the fault of Barack Obama.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 01:13:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, she should have (0+ / 0-)

        But the month wait was inexcusable. It was very apparent this administration, as a whole, was hoping to let this thing pass over into obscurity.  That was not Hillary's doing.  It was orchestrated, most likely, right from the White House or Obama campaign headquarters.

        This is exactly what the Obama campaign did not need at this point in time.

        Yes, it is Hillary's responsibility and someone in her department screwed up.  But now we all pretty much know they knew that from day one.  Someone needed to take the lead on nailing whoever was responsible, and it should have been done inside a week.. at least a preliminary finding.

        But they obfuscated.. for weeks..  and you cannot blame Hillary for that.

        •  Puhleez... (2+ / 0-)

          "...someone in her department screwed up."

          This is simply unproven by anything that has come to light so far, whether in media interviews or in testimony at Issa's hearings last week.

          What would the screw-up be exactly? Letting the ambassador go to the consulate in the first place? Not having a regiment of Marines to guard them? There was no reason to believe that anything close to the level of the attack on the consulate was in the offing. Of course, it's dangerous there and has been since February 2011. Right now, there is a fair amount of lawlessness and chaos everywhere and the militias provide most of what order there is. But violence against Americans, particularly American officials, has not been in evidence. On the contrary.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 02:15:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It was the anniversary of 9/11 (0+ / 0-)

            The Brits had intel that something was brewing.

            That consulate had already been attacked twice.

            No, they couldn't have planned for that big a hit.. but they should have never been there.

            The intelligence community, threat assessment groups, the State Dept.. someone dropped the ball.  Just like all the balls that were dropped on 9/11/2001... but this time they should have known better.

            •  Those two previous attacks were easily.. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              ...dealt with. There has been something "brewing" in Libya for months. And there was more reason to believe that there would be an attack on U.S. diplomats on Sept. 1, the anniversary of Qaddafi's revolution in 1969. That, obviously, didn't happen. As for the Sept. 11 attack, the evidence for this being related to al Qaeda in the Magreb remains spotty at best. The most recent report in The New York Times says that witnesses did not perceive the attack in the late evening of Sept. 11 as related to anything to do with the previous Sept. 11 attacks.

              I don't think it is too much to ask that people wait until the official report is out before ripping everyone apart for having "screwed up."

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 02:51:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Man Up? And then what....Invade Libya (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I. Don't. Think. So.  Fool.

    ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

    by NevDem on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:30:51 AM PDT

  •  Romney is obsessed with this issue. Could end (5+ / 0-)

    up costing him if he actually goes there.  I doubt he will tonight. I think he's just trying to throw Obama off his game. Obama really only needs to say a few things in response:

    a.  You've been politicizing this incident and people (including victim's families) have called you out on it.

    b.  The tragedy of Ambassador Stevens' murder should not obscure the fact that Libya is a success story.  Through Obama's leadership we helped free Libya with an international coalition against Qadaffi led by the US with Amb. Stevens being one of the key players on the ground.  The Libyan government supports us.  The Libyan people marched with us against the terrorists.  That is progress.

    c.  We've had fewer attacks against embassies and consulates as compared to the prior administration. We will find the the truth and we will bring these folks to justice.

    Alternative rock with something to say:

    by khyber900 on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:31:03 AM PDT

  •  Candy picks the questions from the audience (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and if One is about Libya which I think it will be as remember the MSM is harping on this constantly...she will try to stretch out how long they can talk about.

    The media thinks all people care about is Libya, deficit, spending, taxes and they are so wrong. I hope there are questions on jobs, and women's issues and issues affecting children, and more.

    As we win when we get a large portion of the womens vote. And women care about issues like jobs, their health, reproductive choice,  education, and the health and wellbeing of their children.

    Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

    by wishingwell on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:56:48 AM PDT

  •  To which the president should respond: (0+ / 0-)
    "Governor Romney, there's a saying in the Good Book that applies here:  "Physician heal thyself."

    You want to speak about manning up?  Well, I'd say you should consider taking your own advice.  

    Man up, Governor Romney, and explain why you vowed to use any international calamity--and in this case, the death of a U.S. Ambassador--to your political advantage when you spoke privately to donors in that infamous 47% video.  

    Man up and take responsibility for undermining this country and the safety of our foreign representatives when you attempted to score political points while the tragic events were still unfolding in Libya.

    Man up and admit your accusation that I sympathized with terrorists was not only false but disgraceful and far beneath a candidate running for the U.S. presidency.  

    Man up about your assessment that moving heaven and earth to kill OBL was unwise.  

    Man up about the abysmal failure of your overseas tour where, instead of raising your international bona fides, you managed to insult half of Europe.  

    Man up about your ignorance regarding Russia being our biggest geo-political foe.  

    Man up and admit that your jobs and economic plans don't add up, and the majority of the so-called 'studies' you cite to bolster them come from partisan blog posts and op-eds.

    Man up and admit that the only consistent thing about your positions is inconsistency.

    Governor Romney, you'd do well to remember that people in glass houses shouldn't throw bricks.  Next time, take your own advice before attempting to offer it to others.  Instead of focusing on the speck in my eye, you may want to remove the plank out of your own."

    “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

    by WFBMM on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 12:14:25 PM PDT

  •  Libya shouldn't be a question tonight (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but I'm sure it probably will be.  We still have an entire debate left on foreign policy.  Leave it for that, Crowley.

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