Why was enhanced security at consulate in Libya denied?
Part 8 of the second presidential debate
- Duration 8:47
- Date Oct 16, 2012
Part 8 of the second presidential debate
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This transcript is automatically generated
I'm here I want you to talk to carry like get who has that -- to switch the topic for us okay.
-- -- -- -- About what it's Kerry Kerry let your purchases this question actually comes from.
A brain trust of my friends at global Telecom supply and -- yesterday we were sitting around talking about Libya.
And we were raining and became aware reports.
That the State Department.
Refused extra security.
For embassy -- been -- Libya prior -- attacks that killed four Americans.
Who was it that denied enhanced security.
-- first of all talk about our diplomats because they serve all around the world.
And -- -- credible job in a very dangerous situation.
And these are just representatives for United States -- my representatives.
I send them back oftentimes in harm's way.
I know these folks and I and other families.
So nobody is more concerned about their safety and security -- I.
So as -- -- we found out that the -- -- -- was being -- I was on the phone with my national security team.
And I gave them -- instructions number one beef up.
Our security and say.
And and procedures.
Not just -- Libya but every embassy and consulate in the region.
Number to investigate exactly what happened.
Regardless of where the facts lead us.
To make sure that folks are held accountable.
And it doesn't happen again.
And number three.
We are gonna find out who did this and we're gonna hunt them down because one of the things that I've said throughout my presidency as -- folks -- -- Americans.
We go after them.
Now governor Romney had a very different response.
While we were still dealing with our diplomats being threatened.
-- -- put out a press release.
Trying to make political points.
And that's not how -- commander in chief operates.
You don't turn national security and no political issue certainly not right -- it's happening.
And people not everybody agrees with -- decisions I've -- -- comes our national security I mean what I say.
I said -- and the war to -- in in Iraq and I get.
I said that we go after al-Qaeda and bin Laden we -- I said we transitioned out of Afghanistan.
And start making sure that Afghans are responsible for their own security that's what I'm -- And when it comes to this issue.
When I say that we are gonna find out exactly what happened.
Everybody will be held accountable.
And I am ultimately responsible for what's taking place there because these are my -- And on the one who has to greet those coffins when they come home.
You know that I mean what I say mr.
-- I got to move this along governor.
Thank you Kerry for your question it's an important one and and I I think the president just said correctly that that the buck does stop at his desk.
And and he takes responsibility for for that for that the failure and in providing those security resources and and those terrible things they may well happen from time to time I I'm I feel very deeply.
Sympathetic for the families of those who lost lost loved ones today there's a memorial service for one of those that was lost in this tragedy we we think of their families and care for them deeply.
There were other issues associated with this with this tragedy.
And there were.
Many days that pass before we knew that this was a spontaneous demonstration or actually whether it was a terrorist attack and there was no demonstration involved it was a terrorist attack.
It took a long time for that to be told of the American people.
Whether there was some misleading or instead whether we just didn't know what happened I think you have to ask yourself why didn't we know.
Five days later.
When the ambassador to the United Nations went on TV to say that this was a demonstration how -- we have not known.
But I but I find more trouble in this Saddam on the day following.
The assassination of United States ambassador the first time that's happened since 1979.
When when we have four Americans killed there when apparently we didn't know what happened that the president.
The day after that happened flies to Las Vegas for political fund raiser in the next day to Colorado for another event other political event I think these.
These actions taken by a president and leader.
Have symbolic significance.
And perhaps even.
A material significance in that you hope that during that time we could call in the people who are actually eyewitnesses we've read their accounts now about what happened it was very clear.
This was not -- demonstration this was an attack.
And and this calls into question the president's whole policy in the Middle East look what's happening in Syria in Egypt.
Now and in Libya.
Consider the distance between ourselves and in Israel the president said that that he was gonna put daylight between us and Israel.
We have Iran for years closer to a nuclear bomb.
Syria Syria's not just the tragedy of 30000.
Civilians being killed by a military but also a strategic.
-- strategically significant player for America that the president's policies throughout the Middle East began with an apology tour.
And and and pursue a strategy leading from behind and the strategies unraveling before our very eyes.
Because where where it close again I want to still get a lot of people and I wanna ask you something -- -- -- have the governor just quickly.
You're secretary of state is I'm sure you know has said.
That -- takes full responsibility.
For the attack on the diplomatic mission -- -- does the buck stop with your secretary of state as far as what -- on here.
Senator Clinton has done an extraordinary job.
But she works for me.
On the president.
And I'm always response.
And that's why nobody is more interest in finding out exactly what happened.
The night it.
The day after the attack governor.
I stood in the Rose Garden.
And I told the American people in the world.
That we are gonna find out exactly what happened.
But this was an act of terror.
And I also said that we're gonna hunt down those who committed this crime.
And then a few days later I was there greeting the caskets.
Coming in Andrews Air Force Base.
And grieving with the -- -- And the suggestion.
That anybody in my -- Or the secretary of state.
-- UN ambassador.
Anybody -- my team.
Would like politics or mislead.
When we lost four of our own governor.
That's not what we do.
That's not what I do as president.
That's not what I do as commander in chief.
Governor if you -- yeah I question what I -- -- -- as -- -- I I I think it's Andersen the president just said something which which is that on the day after the attack he won the Rose Garden garden.
And said that this was an act of terror.
You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror.
It was not a spontaneous demonstration is that what you -- saying please -- -- By what wanna make sure we get that for the record because it took the president fourteen days before he called the attack and been -- an act of terror get the transfer.
It it he -- -- and facts are so let me let me if they call it Mac that -- -- allowed a candidate elected.
College active terror it did as well.
Take it it is well take that two weeks or so for the whole idea of there being a -- out there about this tape.
But to come out -- -- this that the administration.
Indicated that this was say.
I reaction to -- to a video -- was a spontaneous reaction -- it it took them a long time to say this was a terrorist act by a terrorist group.
And and that to suggest.
-- MMI incorrect and that -- regard and on Sunday the that that your your secretary or -- -- The ambassador the United Nations one of the Sunday to -- television shows and and spoke about how -- it was a spontaneous.
Elena to have a longer conversation about absolutely but I wanna I wanna move you want an -- -- -- -- can't go to transcripts yeah sure.
-- or what Adam West we're gonna have a chance to get some of the questions because what I am what I wanna give Mr.
President as together for a second because -- -- unity she didn't unit in his.