As predicted by many on the right, presidential debate moderator Candy Crowley of CNN Tuesday evening came to the aid of President Obama, lending clear support to his effort to deceptively suggest that he had on Sept. 12 characterized the Sept. 11 attack on the Benghazi consulate as terrorism.
Obama noted during the debate that he had referred to the incident as an “act of terror,” something Gov. Mitt Romney did not appear to be aware of. But Crowley backed Obama’s contention instead of letting the argument play out and giving Romney a chance to fully and clearly make his point that the administration had spent two weeks inaccurately suggesting that the attack was a spontaneous reaction to a video denigrating the Prophet Mohammed.
Crowley’s interruption of the debate gave Obama’s contention a kind of official stamp of approval by asserting that the president did indeed refer to the incident as an act of terror.
In doing so, Crowley added support to the president’s deception that by “act of terror” he meant “act by terrorists,” which he clearly did not.
Here’s what Obama actually said on Sept. 12 in the Rose Garden:
No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.
But at another point in his remarks, Obama directly tied the “act of terror” to a spontaneous reaction to the video.
Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.
It’s clear from this context that by “act of terror,” Obama meant the terror inflicted by a mob incited by the video, not a planned terrorist attack. But Obama did not explain this during the debate, merely noting he had called the attack an “act of terror” and leaving the erroneous impression he was referring to premeditated terrorism.
Obama’s misleading contention was adjudicated as accurate by a supposedly neutral moderator. For the first time I can remember in a presidential debate, the moderator got involved and came down on the side of one of the candidates.
And that’s exactly as conservatives feared.
Here’s the video of the exchange Tuesday night.