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Second Presidential Debate is a Tie with Crowley Losing

Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 18, 2012

The second debate between President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney is history.  The President clearly performed better than during the first debate, which he absolutely flubbed.  Most polls give a slight edge to Obama with this writer calling it a tie.

A neutral observer would likely conclude that neither candidate performed particularly well.  Both obfuscated answers to pointed questions presented by the audience.  Obama, as has been his modus operandi, refused to take any responsibility for the Country’s economic problems and weak recovery.  Romney was evasive on specifics as to his economic policies.  Finally, both were overly aggressive, showing little respect for the other.

There is one clear debate loser: moderator CNN’s Candy Crowley.  At one point, Romney indicated that the President incorrectly characterized the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi for two weeks, blaming it on a spontaneous riot resulting from an offensive Internet video.  Crowley then inappropriately interjected stating that the President had called the attack an act of terror the day after it during a Rose Garden speech.

Even if Crowley was correct on her fax, it is not the job of a moderator to intervene in a debate.  That responsibility rests in the opposing debater.  However, her facts were incorrect.  While she made a statement affirming the President’s characterization of the Benghazi attack as terrorism, a review of his Rose Garden remarks, during which he took no questions, does not jive with her contention and include the following:

  • The President said of the attacks: “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.”  Irrespective of Ms. Crowley’s interpretation, the President was clearly connecting the Benghazi attack on the video, not terrorist.
  • A few statements later in his speech the President said referring to the 9/11 (2001) attacks: 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. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America.  We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act.  And make no mistake, justice will be done.”  At most, his use of the word terror was general and not directed towards the Benghazi attack.

The effect of Crowley’s intervention was not only evident by the way Romney was taken back, but by the audience’s response when they clapped in approval to her false assertions.  Her actions can only reasonably be attributed to partisan assistance, especially since Crowley covers politics, not foreign policy, for CNN.

It is remarkable that President Obama and his supporters, including those in the mainstream media, and yes Ms. Crowley, do not see the irony of the position they take on the President’s behavior after the Benghazi attack.  While they continue to parse words as to whether or not the President called it an act of terrorism in his Rose Garden speech, the Administration’s actions clearly lead to a different conclusion.  Four days after the attacks, the Administration sent its UN Ambassador Susan Rice on the Sunday talk shows claiming the attacks were not related to terrorism, but instead to the Internet video.  In addition, the President not only on multiple occasions for two weeks indicated that he did not know whether terrorism was involved, but two weeks then went to the United Nations and mentioned the video six times.

Ms. Crowley not only owes Mitt Romney an apology for her inappropriate behavior, but also owes the American people one for misrepresenting the facts on the President’s action after the

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