Was there a massive intelligence failure in Libya?
Part 1 of vice presidential debate
- Duration 11:14
- Date Oct 11, 2012
Part 1 of vice presidential debate
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Good evening and welcome to the first and only vice presidential debate of 2012.
Sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates I'm Martha Raddatz of ABC news and I am honored to moderate this debate between two men.
Who have dedicated much of their lives to public service.
Tonight's debate is divided between domestic and foreign policy issues.
And I'm going to -- back and forth between foreign and domestic since that is what -- vice president or president would have to do.
We will have nine different segments at the beginning of each segment at last both candidates a question and they will each have two minutes to answer.
Then I will encourage -- discussion between the candidates with follow up questions.
By coin toss it has been determined that Vice President Biden will be first to answer the opening question.
We have a wonderful audience here at center college tonight you'll no doubt hear their enthusiasm at the end of the debate.
And right now as we welcome vice president Joseph Biden.
And congressman Paul Ryan.
OK got a little wave to the families and that's great.
Good evening general and it really is and I'm honored to be here with -- their view.
I would like to begin with Libya.
-- a rather somber note one month ago tonight on the anniversary of 9/11.
Ambassador Chris -- three other brave Americans were killed in a terrorist attack and then got -- The State Department has now made clear if there were no protesters there it was a pre planned assault by heavily armed -- Wasn't -- some massive intelligence failure Vice President Biden.
When was it was a tragedy.
Chris Stevens was one of our best we lost through -- brave Americans I can make absolutely two commitments to you and all the American people.
One we will fine.
Can bring justice.
The men who did this and secondly we will get to the bottom of it and what ever wherever the facts lead us.
What -- they -- -- we will make clear the American public because whenever mistakes -- made will not be me again when you're looking at a president.
-- seems to me that you should take a look at his most important responsibility that's.
Carry -- the national security of the country the best way to do that is take a look at how he's handled the issues of the day.
On Iraq the president said he would end the war.
Governor Romney said that was a tragic mistake we should -- -- in fact he ended.
Governor Romney said that was a tragic mistake we should love 30000 troops.
With regard to Afghanistan he said he will end the war in 2014.
Governor Romney said we should not -- -- date number one and number two with regard to 2014 it depends but McCain Osama bin Laden.
The president the first day in office I was sitting with a -- Oval Office he called in the CIA had signed an order saying my highest priorities and get -- a lot.
Prior to the election prior to the would be sworn in governor Romney was asked the question about how we proceed -- -- I wouldn't move heaven and earth to get penalized.
Didn't understand was more than about taking.
-- a -- off the battlefield it was about restoring America's -- and letting terrorists around the world -- if you do harm to America.
We will track you moved to the gates of hell -- -- And lastly the the press United States has has led with a steady hand and clear vision.
Governor Romney the opposite the last thing we need now is another war.
Congressman -- We mourn the loss of these four Americans who -- murdered.
When you take a look at what has happened just in the last few weeks.
They sent the UN ambassador out to say that this was because of a protest in -- YouTube video.
It took the president two weeks.
To acknowledge that this was a terrorist attack.
He went to the UN in his speech of the UN he's had six times he talked with -- YouTube video.
If we -- hit by terrorists we're gonna call for what it is a terrorist attack.
Our ambassador in Paris as a marine detachment guarding him.
Should we have a marine detachment guarding.
Our ambassador -- -- Ghazi.
A place where we knew that there was an al-Qaeda cells with arms.
Is becoming more troubling by the day.
The first -- -- YouTube video -- trying to blame the Romney Ryan ticket for making this an issue.
With respect to Iraq.
We have the same position.
Before the withdrawal which was we agreed with the Obama administration.
Let's have a status of forces agreement to make sure that we secure our gains the vice president was put in charge of those negotiations by President Obama.
And it feel to get the agreement.
We don't have a status of forces agreement because they failed to get.
That's what we're talking about.
Helicopters are veterans we -- them a free debt of gratitude.
For what they've done -- -- including your son vote.
But we also want to make sure that we don't lose the things we fought so hard to get.
With -- respect to Afghanistan between fourteen deadline we agree with -- point fourteen transition.
But what we also want to do is make sure that we're not projecting weakness abroad and that's what's happening here this.
And got the issue would be a tragedy in of itself.
But unfortunately it's indicative of a broader problem and that is what we're watching on our TV screens as the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy.
Which is making the -- -- more chaotic and us less safe.
As a want to talk -- about right in the middle of the crisis.
Governor Romney and you're talking about this again tonight.
Talked about the weakness talked about apologies.
From the Obama administration.
It's not really appropriate right in the middle of the crisis.
On that same day the Obama administration had the exact same position.
Let's recall that they disavowed.
Their own statement that they had put up earlier in the day in Cairo.
So we had the same position but we will it's never too early to speak up for our -- We should've spoken out right away when the green revolution was up and starting when the mullahs in Iran -- attacking their people.
We should not call Bashar -- a reformer when he was turning his Russian providing guns on his own people.
We should always stand up for peace.
For democracy for individual rights.
And we should not be imposing these devastating defense cuts because what that does.
When we -- -- on our values.
We showed it regarding -- own defense and here it makes us more -- it projects weakness and when you look weak.
Our adversaries are much more willing to test us the more brazen attacks -- our pilots are less willing to.
-- all due respect that's a bunch of Malarkey.
And why that's so there's not a single thing you said is accurate first of all -- specific I will be very specific number one.
The this lecture -- embassy security.
The congressman here cut embassy security his budget by three.
Hundred million dollars below what we asked for number one so much for the embassy security peace number to.
Governor Romney before he know the facts before he even knew that our ambassador was killed.
He was out making it political state which was paid by the media around the world.
And this talk about this this weakness.
I I don't understand what my friends talking about.
-- this is the president is gone out.
And done everything he has said he was gonna do.
This is a guy -- repaired our alliances for the rest of the world follows us again this is a guy who brought the entire world including Russia and China to bring about the most.
The most devastating efforts on.
-- to make sure that they in fact stop with her look.
I I just I mean these guys bet against America all the time hit a really tough convicted let me go back -- -- What were you first told about the attack him why -- why were people talking about protest when people in the consulate.
First saw armed men attacking with guns there were no protests because lies in that -- on what we were hole but I.
That's why there's also an investigation headed by Tom Pickering.
A leading diplomat -- from the Reagan years who is doing an investigation is whether or not there any laps is what the lapses were so that they will never happen again they want to let our security.
Well we were told they would do what want more security do we did not know they want -- more security and by the way.
At the time we were told exactly we said exactly what the intelligence community told us that they -- That was the assessment.
And as the intelligent -- be changed your view we made it clear they changed their view that's why should we will get to the bottom of this.
You know usually when there's a crisis we pull together.
We pull together as a nation but as I said it before we know what happened in the ambassador.
The governor is holding a press conference was holding a press conference that's not presidential leadership.
-- I want to ask you about.
There Romney campaign talks a lot about no apology she has a book called no apologies.
Should the US -- apologized for Americans burning Iran in Afghanistan should the US apologize for US Marines.
Urinating on Taliban corpses oh gosh yes.
Hearing on Calvin court courses.
What we should not a party -- Toronto immediately.
What we should not be apologizing for our standing up for our balance.
What we should not be doing is saying the Egyptian people well.
Mubarak is cracking down on them that he's a good guy and then the next -- -- he ought to go.
What we should not be doing is rejecting claims from for calls for more security.
In our barracks in our marine we need Marines -- Ghazi.
When the commander on the ground says we need more forces for security there were requests for -- security those requests were not honored.
Look this was the anniversary of 9/11.
It was Libya.
A country we knew we had al-Qaeda cells there as we know al-Qaeda and its affiliates are on the rise in northern Africa.
And we did not give our ambassador in -- -- A marine detachment.
Of course there's an investigations we can make sure that this never happens again.
But when it comes to sticking up for our bellies we should not apologize for those here's the problem.
Look at all the various issues out there and it's unraveling before our eyes the vice president talks about sanctions on Iraq.
They got we've export to Iran I'd I'd actually like some of Toronto because there's really no bigger nationals actually --