GOP hopeful Mitt Romney found himself backtracking during the second presidential debate after moderator Candy Crowley challenged his assertion that President Barack Obama had not referred to recent attacks on Americans in Libya as terrorism.
“The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people and the world we are going to find out exactly what happened, that this was an act of terror and I also said that we’re going to hunt down those who committed this crime,” Obama explained following Romney’s suggestion that the president had been more concerned with fundraising than national security after the death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
“I think it’s interesting that the president just said something, which is on the day after the attack he went in the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror,” Romney replied. “Is that what you’re saying? I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.”
“Get the transcript,” Obama insisted.
“He did, in fact, sir,” Crowley pointed out to Romney.
“Can you say that a little louder, Candy?” the president asked Crowley as the audience applauded.
“He did call it an act of terror,” the moderator agreed. “It did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea of there being a riot out there about this tape to come out.”
“The administration indicated that this was a reaction to a video,” Romney said, rephrasing his attack with a slight stutter. “It took them a long time to say this was a terrorist act by a terrorist group. And — and to suggest — am I correct in that regard?”
“I want to move you on,” Crowley told the candidates. “People can go to the transcripts.”
Watch this video from CNN, broadcast Oct. 16, 2012.