Power Play 10/25/2012
Who is winning? Libya attack a real-time catastrophe and Dems look to rally women on Indiana abortion gaffe
Oct 25, 2012
David Avella, Tony Welch
Who is winning? Libya attack a real-time catastrophe and Dems look to rally women on Indiana abortion gaffe
Oct 25, 2012
David Avella, Tony Welch
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So they Obama campaign is slipping.
President can't seem to find an agenda to help America's families.
Our campaign is a growing movement across this country were people recognize we're gonna bring build a brighter future for the American family.
For every family this great country.
And back -- -- is Willard -- Romney speaking in the biggest little city in the world Reno Nevada.
And saying that the president was back on its heels and that Romney momentum.
Was surging forward across the land and this is power play.
And I'm Chris firewall and Internet happy Thursday to you happy happy Thursday to you.
And the question today before all of us it is.
What is the state of the race Republicans and Democrats.
Both aggrieved over the past several weeks that in fact Mitt Romney was surging in gaining momentum.
Now the dispute -- -- Points have arisen.
And -- Romney is much advantage over where he was a few weeks ago Democrats say.
Mitt Romney -- he's not going anywhere.
And the Republicans say -- -- you've not seen anything yet there's poles that offer conflicting evidence.
Back and forth.
We will sort that out today we will do that for you so that you can rest rest easy Internet.
We will also talk about.
What it means.
Wind -- the attack on the US consulate in Ben Ghazi we now know was watched in real time in Washington.
What the significance of that is and we test the old axiom about the cover up always being worse than the events sometimes.
That's not true sometimes it's actually the events these -- political perspective.
And we will look at what Democrats are hoping.
Will be a thorn in the side of Republicans going through a you know as mayor Tommy Hussein in our fully expressed view.
On instances pregnancy resulting from rape.
We will do all of that you'll enjoy it as you'll be satisfied by it and you'll enjoy none of it.
Or be ratified by more -- abide by any of it more than you will about what you hear from Fred Barnes.
The managing editor.
Executive editor by Leo mr.
-- -- apologize is the executive.
At the weekly standard.
And he's here even though bill crystal and Steve Hayes told him not to come back.
We thank you -- about us.
I'm glad to be here and we do believe entitled inflation that the weekly -- if you can't if you can't give them -- get a better title that's that's the key.
And Fred has been doing some of what he does best which is taking the plane up to a few tens of thousands of feet.
And looking down at that that the the real state of the election now what who won the last fifteen minutes or what the latest overnight snapple -- so he -- he's good to do -- -- You heard Mitt Romney's assessment of the race that here's what President Obama had to say about the race he did an interview with his favorite.
Organization that would be NBC news he likes he gets a lot but he seems like NBC -- is starting to Brian Williams and he said that's.
Well actually and Williams had been asking him -- like we're losing.
Actually I think you know we always knew this was going to be a close race from the start and we have right now -- -- that we maintain throughout this campaign.
But I this -- that doesn't seem to.
True it doesn't seem to be true at all and and there -- a number of reasons and you can site to show that is not true wonder just Paulson.
Majority of the polls show.
Romney had behind.
One -- 45 points.
There -- some that show of Obama had Zogby poll for instance but we -- that is that.
Went well we may not use -- but there are few unrest trying to be fair here but most of them show Romney with a slight lead.
And then secondly there's the president's conduct.
-- -- it is a sure sign believe that he thinks he's in trouble at the very least for one he's changed his his -- up.
The line of -- Nobody talks about in the campaign now is all of a sudden he's talking about the second term and how well he's gonna get along with Republicans and -- has this twenty page.
Outline of its -- -- which sounded very sorry -- -- which says here's my second term agenda which is resistant to the several years now outlining.
That's one thing can vote and and then there was in the third debate you could see.
Who was acting like the guy behind who acted like the challenger and who -- like the guy who was ahead.
The incumbent and turned out -- there was this role reversal the president was only attacked that's what a challenger does someone who.
Thinks he's behind -- really has to go on offense so when you put all these things together and it.
And it's not just -- in the presidential race you -- with Romney pulling ahead you see in the senate races Republicans doing better not locking up races in particular but.
But becoming competitive in Florida and Connecticut and other states other.
Where they weren't before -- in senate race so we did you put all together I conclude that.
The races and over -- Romney's slightly ahead at the moment.
Right -- and the question for Romney is does he have enough forward momentum to carry him through the day.
And of course the question the biggest question is about.
-- the state you may have heard of called Ohio -- tends to be pretty important because as we've been talking about your friend that deal for.
For Romney is -- he's got to win the southeast back the Republicans seem to take this out -- back Virginia North Carolina and Florida.
Good trend in those states for him and without any of those it would be very difficult for him to get through if possible and then he needs Ohio plus one and we talked yesterday about -- seven which is New Hampshire.
Pennsylvania Michigan Wisconsin.
Nevada and Colorado and yes they get yes to flip one of those states that is more traditionally blue.
And he's on the but he can't do without Ohio and here's what the real clear politics average in Ohio is one week ago.
The president lead of 48 point four to 45 point eight.
Now the president only leads by one point 9%.
In the average of polls.
But George W.
Bush won a second term in the White -- -- with.
Basically carrying Ohio by the number of people who go to an Ohio State University football game well.
The and all of those numbers don't.
In Ohio do show that Romney is gaining.
Whether -- gain enough we don't know we're not and -- you know Republicans have come up with ways he can win in the states he needs to take to.
And win the presidency without winning Ohio.
No idea and as possible but but but don't go very difficult basically.
He needs to win Ohio win I think the Romney campaign is they've got -- agrees with that they're really going.
A tremendous resources into Ohio in the president's hair in Poland will be there for sure and they edited and so they believe that enough.
Beyond I think he has a good chance of winning Ohio but.
It's it's not going to be easy.
There as the Internet says my favorite fun fact is that in 100 years you.
Two individuals have won Ohio and not descended to the presidency and it is Richard Nixon in 1960 pounds -- -- in 1948 and hey and the past two victory for running without Ohio he has they would say down and Barbara campaign.
Would be as rare as -- teeth you could do it -- is hard to imagine.
You'd you'd have put together a win in say Wisconsin which is less friendly territory for Republicans indeed and western states and do this to offset Ohio's electoral -- he's.
So the -- exist but it but it's tricky.
How much does the perception.
Of momentum and victory matter in deciding who will actually win.
Certainly the Obama people thought it did they try to build over the last year they tried to create his bandwagon effect and point to polls and complained of -- that.
Pollsters that they didn't like their polls.
I thought they weren't showing Obama for -- -- ahead.
And at the end I think it helps in particular.
But that but that's really not the the polls are really what.
Obama's problem is the problem for President Obama is that you have a small number of voters.
Who have not decided who they gonna vote for.
Not always been generally more often than not that they go with the challenger and somehow the president has to turn that around it can happen it BP it is doable.
But I don't think he's doing anything or saying -- -- -- his campaign is producing anything that would make that happen at the moment.
Duly noted mr.
Barnes Fred has agreed against his better judgment to stick around for another segment so when we come back.
We get his take on the politics of what happened on September 11.
In Benghazi Libya but we will also get a greater understanding of what we -- what's available to us and all that stuff because somebody you like very much.
Probably even more than Fred don't tell him that -- Jennifer Griffin and she'll be with us when we come back just to correct.
And that was the scene in the aftermath of an attack by a group of Islamist militants on the US consulate in Benghazi Libya.
And this is power play.
And that was the scene that we saw in the aftermath and we've seen that video many times and we've seen all of that stuff but as we get farther away from the attacked.
We have increasingly learned.
That folks inside the administration presidential administration inside the security and defense apparatus.
Saw a lot more I knew a lot more about what was going on that may have some political consequences Fred Barnes is with us still.
And will help us sort that out.
But help us understand a larger picture here.
Is our friend and our colleague Jennifer Griffin who joins us from the Pentagon Jennifer welcome back.
-- We'll see if you're willing to stick this out the question Jennifer it is.
Good luck in this cynical politics in Washington and good access -- the question what did the president know and when did he know it.
And all of that stuff about what happened and -- -- but then we've learned that we actually believed that we had a lot of people.
Following emails and watching in real time through drone video what was going on there can you tell us about that.
Let me walk you through what we've been able to piece together in terms of what was communicated back to Washington what they could see in real time.
And what military assets were moved into position to help.
Essentially the attack -- consulate we're talking about two separate locations as you know consulate attack started at 9:40 PM local time Libyan time.
Within an hour based on the State Department emails that -- leaked out two nights ago.
Within an hour they got reports.
The through cables that the attack on the consulate.
Had finished the firing had finished at that point they didn't have Chris Stevens.
But a quick reaction force teams of special operators former special operators who are over at the CIA -- about a mile away had made their way over to help.
At the consulate they rescued.
The for some of them injured.
It member of the security team who were protecting Chris statements they couldn't find the ambassador they have the dead body of Shawn Smith at that point.
They got into vehicles and start to make their way to the annex at that point they hit some traffic they got they did -- -- turn they got ambushed down an Alley way.
And they made their way after having their tire shot out to the annex we don't know how long that took before they got to -- addicts but what we do know is -- almost immediately first of all the president the Defense Secretary.
And the vice president -- in the Oval Office at 5 PM eastern.
They were in the Oval Office and they knew what was going on within an hour of the initial attack on the conflict.
At that point a drone that was a predator drone that was already up in the air doing I SR Intel and surveillance.
Over Libya was moved input to position.
We believe it was moved into that took position over the consulate but it arrived on the scene a little bit after things have started there was some real time video that was.
Not only at the State Department but also in the situation room also here at the Pentagon in fact I was told by.
A somebody who knows about these things about how predators work is that anybody with the proper clearance could call up on their classified computer.
Visual images of what the drone was feeding back.
Now the problem is there were two locations there was a consulate and annex so whether that.
Predator was in position at the annex the CIA -- when the second phase of the fighting began and watched all of that it whether there watching that -- real time.
Is open to debate but what we know is that six hours and twenty minutes after the initial attack on the consulate.
A mortar was fired at the roof of the CIA -- and that's when.
-- Doherty and Tyrone woods the former seals who are -- Manning a machine gun were killed.
And that was six hours and twenty minutes after the at the beginning of of the attack on a conflict.
What is not clear and what isn't important for the audience to understand is that this was not a straight seven hour firefight at one location that the military and others did not send.
Reinforcements to help with.
Seven hours would have given them time of course to scramble forces from Europe do fly -- with F sixteens if they thought that -- disperse the crowd.
Oprah what we're told from the State Department emails the fighting at the console was essentially over after an hour.
So the military says that they -- special operation forces from a central European -- to sink in LA air base in southern Italy that was about a 480 mile.
-- -- -- But they never arrived on the scene because at that point they weren't sure what they could do the ambassador was missing.
But they didn't know where he was they didn't know what that team was being -- to do it was a fluid.
Changing situation and -- the military says there wasn't enough time to get any forces there and real time that would have made a difference or save lives.
And that I submit to you that Jennifer Griffin is that there embodiment of fair balanced and unafraid and we are very grateful to you would have a great debt.
Thank you -- OK Fred so it's complicated.
It's easy and it's a lot less complicated after hearing Jennifer that night and what it's for us is as complicated -- that complicated indeed and the truth of the matter seems to be this that while the press corps has have been obsessing over some -- the press for a minute that's never what did President Obama -- and -- -- -- -- when they changed their story but we know when they changed their strategy industry and the thirteenth of September when they went for the president talking about acts of terror and terrorism.
And then switched and those references disappeared after three references one with CBS news one on the campaign trail.
In Las Vegas and one in the Rose Garden that was one way and we just heard about the video after that -- we got that far and even though the part that seems to be overlooked or being missed.
Is the actual events and the fact that we were seemingly not for.
They're -- and that we knew about it the whole time they did indeed end.
-- the course and I'll -- early reporting there was nothing about a protest.
-- against any Muslim blood a video protest in front of the consulate much less at the annex.
The so we just didn't exist.
And it wasn't just the president who mentioned that.
A terrorist attack several times it was that they State Department briefing that said the same thing during that period and up didn't mention anything about the protest against the video.
So them but I think what you're suggesting is they're two separate things -- and yet and neither one album of rebounds to lead our benefit I think of President Obama running for election.
In the first place you have.
-- -- -- -- Two Navy SEALs and one other official being killed.
Which is a -- and -- an important and tragic event.
How did that happen I mean Libya is a country that we have supposed to obliterated and yet this is happening -- this was a a real blow the whole mideast policy.
Of the Obama administration so that's one thing about it and I think that's probably -- she was suggesting the most harmful ball and secondly you have what some people call a -- Republicans do.
You have this period of time where they were saying one thing and then all of a sudden.
The White House and you had not only.
The ambassador to the UN -- Susan Rice ray Jay Carney -- -- do.
The good the Press Secretary the president and others are saying no no no this was all open up again as they protest.
Against the any Muslim video.
-- -- there's no evidence and which the White House ultimately came off and said no that was not right it wasn't it was a terrorist attacks so you he you have to think you have.
One -- the -- being killed that's harmful and too you have with that they credibility gap.
-- which is harm the administration.
Let me posit -- senate and -- this -- That in doing this they didn't -- part of their desired goal because.
What they were afraid obviously -- happened was on the thirteenth fourteenth fifteenth that people started asking these questions.
-- and HE double hockey sticks did was this.
Did this occur why we not better prepared they saw happening why didn't they act to stop it or at least for goodness -- kill the perpetrators even if you couldn't save the besieged garrison.
You'd at least kill some of them.
The other guys.
That they did succeed at least -- that that they keep this conversation down the road.
Don't know maybe a little bit you know it's hard to overcome the fact that you have one.
Very popular American ambassador to a country that had been liberated by the US along with the French and the British.
And the ambassador was killed and did -- do.
What was not sufficiently protected.
That's the single most harmful thing had nothing big the White House was able to save the State Department or anybody in the administration could say could take that away.
Fred Barnes is a responsible check on my deep and abiding cynicism.
We thank you very much mr.
Barnes had a great day well.
The and when life begins and have a horrible situation debris that -- -- something good god intended to happen absolutely people.
-- -- Twisted.
Came to misunderstand the points that I was trying to make.
And if because.
Of the lack of clarity -- my word.
That they came away with an impression other than those that I stated a moment ago that life is precious and that I -- or violence and I'm confident got a -- violence and very.
If they can -- with any impression other than that I truly regret -- I apologize -- they came away and I have certainly been humbled.
By the fact that so many people think that that.
Some how -- was an interpretation.
That was Richard Murdoch he will these these state treasurer of Indiana and he was on a glide path and back.
To be the next senator from Indiana.
-- the Crimson Tide rolls over -- state carried by President Obama in 2008.
First you saw him being used in an add web ad buy.
Obama for America.
Saying that the view that Murdoch had -- played there about.
Life resulting from rape being God's will.
Was that one shared by Mitt Romney because Mitt Romney has endorsed him.
And then you hurt Murdoch press conference apologizing.
So is whats the consequence in this race in what is the consequence.
Nationally it doesn't matter what's the deal.
Tony Welch is back with us he's the former Press Secretary democratic national.
Many he is a Democrat in good standing and as patriotic American and he is probable -- T -- TH DUBES which I think is a cool Twitter handle and David -- is the president of gopac.
And gopac is he Republican -- recruiting arm.
To find people to be the senate candidates of the future to find people who run for the big race in the future get them engaged in the process on the local and state level.
And he's also West Virginia in good -- he has always as a -- here.
Answered -- we welcome you think our guys first question.
This race was shaping up to be pretty close but it looked like Murdoch had the advantage.
Just because of the Republican -- quickly what's the consequence to the race data.
Richard Murdoch said he was not articulate and expressing his pro life views right.
Dolly is also pro life right -- scares the -- the fact is the Democrats in these next twelve days have to -- talk about anything.
But the economy.
And their record of creating jobs so and the media is being complete accomplices in this about the little -- well well but -- so what they're gonna do it should it's less.
Let's make candidates talk about anything but that's up right where were they where was the media last week running around chasing every Democrat candidate asking them do you agree with the president's comments.
That these deaths in Libya were not optimal.
As long as we talk about the economy Republicans are gonna win.
And Democrats have to do everything they can I don't I don't feel within this question has been answered day of not sure it will it work well I don't know about where it will fail.
Succeed or fail.
We know what we don't know what a cast right we rented I -- I could have told at the beginning of that what you wanted to do was bag on not good -- quote and I.
I can say without a doubt this is not good and this idea.
He -- this -- during debate he can't have a debate that only talks about jobs.
For a full ninety minutes he could immediately this -- to do that but it's insulting.
To say that any other issue that comes up is it that is getting old you can't say it's a distraction stand behind -- words.
-- or don't they and women than in fact one of the recent Gallup polls -- -- women won't stop issue.
We're picking up didn't say which cited by the way look -- abortion -- the camera is number one.
And in that one pole so it's significant enough and by the way and -- it just didn't just say Mitt Romney endorsed camera.
He pointed out that this position stated much better I'm going to -- he's also the same position as Paul -- -- which is to say.
The method of conception doesn't matter but it but the ideas the bottom line -- we are against -- -- against who didn't allowing the rape victim Davenport.
It also Evans refused -- democratic candidate in the race cosponsored legislation with -- -- -- Missouri through Baghdad the law of the land.
And the effort that you saw -- in them in the web video.
Was about as turning points out tying this -- the tying his views to Romney's.
But there's a gap between Romney and Murdoch on this is that -- doesn't he while he is.
Pro life in broad sense and he is sort of in the mainstream position on this he favors exceptions.
Rape incest and the life of the mother whereas Ryan and other conservatives say no.
Only when the life of the mother is it at risk so.
Does this pose a challenge with the base and does this pose a challenge.
For Romney as he tries to navigate there.
It's -- as long as governor Romney contends he continues to stand up for his pro life positions he's not gonna have a problem with the base.
You've got to get as as Tony referenced one poll.
Talked about women saying abortions number one -- if Indiana voters voters want.
A mini me of Barack Obama and Joseph Donnelly said he voted for obamacare I voted for bail out -- tell you get the last word who's gonna win this race.
-- -- I'll I'll say this is -- that this is serious enough that and that is just the Democrats about that -- -- -- this year -- -- what project are taken out.
They gave that they were Democrats another opening movie city index is -- -- -- -- -- -- always -- cautious and careful individual he would not he doesn't stick its neck out doesn't think there's something there that's why we like him.
But we like having you here because we'd like West Virginia would like steel scrap a little bit gentlemen we thank you very much for your time today.
Now on the hunt with Jonathan Hunt is coming up for you but before he -- -- -- let's finish the entree here and let's talk about some power points.
And let's talk about no retreat.
No retreat there is a lot of talk right now about who's pulling out of what stated what they're taking down here and what's going on there in North Carolina and Colorado and all of this.
Well guess what it's a ground game -- out Internet.
This is meaningless this is a camera this doesn't count they all have enough money both campaigns have enough money to stay on the ground and stay on the air and all twelve battleground states if they want to.
They can do it to the very -- they bought up all the TV time they've already hired the people they've been planning for this they're gonna spend a couple billion dollars so it's I got stuff.
Bit -- is this the withdrawals the real withdrawals which are the withdrawals of states from the candidates' schedules.
Started a long time ago.
That's how you can tell who's gonna win -- or you don't see Mitt Romney New Mexico you know where you don't see President Obama North Carolina that's his name they know and so they're not gonna use their precious time to do that so here's the third point.
Guess what no surprise it's Ohio it's always Ohio it's always Ohio it's always.
Ohio okay Internet it's always hard.
-- -- -- So that's what those -- your power points for today you know it all along I just like to remind you a little bit and now as we like to do every day we want to leave you with the word.
From our -- -- Us and the theory I have as they might have thought at the beginning this going to be a terror attack would have to go out with -- but remember what happened between the attack and Susan Rice appeared.
Three days of unrelenting media coverage of Romney.
The Romney's statement -- attacks on Romney in the -- in -- and all that the media were uninterested in the story they might have made a calculation.
The media's interest in in the Romney stuff that I can be used in -- -- -- we write it out until actually.
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