Republicans on Sunday kept the heat on President Barack Obama over the September 11 killing of four Americans in Libya, with a senior senator saying the attack supported the Romney campaign’s claim that Obama’s foreign policy is “unraveling.”
Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney has seized on the Obama administration’s handling of the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, to try to dent Obama’s foreign policy credibility ahead of the November 6 election.
Questions about what happened at the Benghazi mission surfaced in Thursday’s vice presidential debate, where Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan decried the “unraveling of the Obama foreign policy.” They look set to intensify at the next presidential debate, on Tuesday in New York.
“Either they are misleading the American people, or they are incredibly incompetent,” Lindsey Graham, a senior Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, told CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
The White House initially said the violence was an impromptu reaction by Muslims upset at a video made in California that insulted the Prophet Mohammed. Days later, the administration publicly called it a terrorist attack on the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Graham said the Obama administration’s early statements on the attack, in which U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed, were aimed at hiding inconvenient facts in order to uphold a rosy “narrative” of success in Libya and in the wider fight against al Qaeda.
“To admit that the embassy was attacked by al Qaeda operatives, and Libya – leading from behind – didn’t work I think undercuts that narrative,” he said.
“Bin Laden may be dead. Al Qaeda is alive and they’re counter-attacking throughout the entire region,” said Graham. “And the truth is the foreign policy choices of President Obama is allowing the region to become unraveled.”
DEMOCRAT SEES “WITCH HUNT”