Posted by Gary Fouse at 3:29 PM
This is why I am a humble blogger instead of being a talking head on TV.
To tell the truth, I didn't put much importance on Crowley inserting herself into the Libya discussion last night, but she is the talk of the airwaves today. Prior to the debate, both sides had concerns about her, and I guess she justified at least the fears of the Romney camp.
At issue was whether President Obama called the Benghazi incident a terror attack during his September 12 Rose Garden remarks. Last night, he said he did. Romney took issue with that. As I previously stated, Obama made a reference to terror attacks, but it was not really clear if he was talking about Benghazi or terror attacks in general. At any rate, Crowley jumped in and supported Obama-then added that Romney was correct in that the "protest" story was out there for two weeks. Romney supporters are charging that Crowley saved Obama from Romney's points on the Libya issue. You can read the transcript of the exchange as well as the full debate transcript here. In addition, you can see Crowley's explanation post-debate here.
At any rate, there is a silver lining here. This will get more people talking about Libya and the administration's responses. In the next debate, foreign policy is the topic, and Libya figures to get a lot of air time as well as the so-called "Arab Spring" and Obama's handling of Israel. That is unless, of course, moderator Bob Schieffer tries to keep those items short and move on to other subjects like trade with China and the cost of French perfume. I suspect that after Crowley, all eyes will be watching Schieffer's moderating.
There is another point that should be clarified either now or during the next debate: If President Obama wants to stake out the position that he did indeed call the Benghazi assault a "terror attack" on September 12, then doesn't that make Ambassador Susan Rice's (and others) statements days later about a "protest over a video that got out of control" even more egregious?
This is a great opportunity here. Obama has placed himself in a box. It behooves Romney to nail him on this in the next debate.