Republicans want to keep up these inane attacks? Please proceed.
After Mitt Romney's epic Libya failure at Tuesday's debate, it looks like Republicans have settled on their latest attempt to politicize the murder of four Americans. Taking their cue from Matt Drudge they have decided
that it is outrageous that President Obama used the phrase "not optimal" in response to a question from Jon Stewart about the attack in Benghazi.
In an appearance on Fox News’s “Fox and Friends” on Friday, McCain added that Obama’s use of the word “optimal” was “very regrettable and makes me a little sad.”
McCain’s comments came after Obama, who appeared on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” on Thursday, was asked by Stewart about the administration’s handling of the attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi that left U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead. Stewart said to Obama that in the aftermath, “even you would admit, it was not the optimal response, at least to the American people, as far as all of us being on the same page.”
“Here’s what I’ll say. If four Americans get killed, that’s not optimal,” Obama responded. “We’re going to fix it. All of it.”
I have to say, if that statement makes John McCain sad, then John McCain has a pretty low bar for sadness. Maybe he'd be a little bit less miserable if he could get over the 2008 election and do something constructive—you know, maybe help President Obama convince House Republicans to vote for the resources we need to provide security to embassies.
Pathetically, McCain was not alone—New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte joined the fray:
“I have to say, the president’s statement today was quite astounding,” said Ayotte (R-N.H.). “And, you know, the murder of four Americans, of course, is tragic and totally unacceptable. And that’s what we would expect to hear from our commander-in-chief.”
If she was listening, that's exactly what President Obama has said—and he's said it many times. Maybe Ayotte should ask Mitt Romney about that, because by now I'm sure Mitt Romney is aware of what President Obama has actually said about this attack.
The thing that is so crass about the Republican approach to Libya isn't that they are criticizing the president—it's that they are doing so with so little substance and such an obvious eye towards scoring political points. They don't seem to remember—or care—that the attack in Benghazi was a national tragedy. Instead, they see it as an political opportunity. And if there's anything John McCain should be sad about, it's the fact that an attack on America seems to have made Republicans happy.
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