Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani found himself getting an attitude adjustment from CNN host Soledad O’Brien on Monday after he suggested that she was blaming former President George W. Bush for recent attacks that left four Americans dead in Libya.
In contrast to claims made by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign, reports on Sunday indicated that for as long as ten days after the attacks on the consulate in Benghazi, the CIA told President Barack Obama that the incident stemmed from a spontaneous protest.
On Monday, Giuliani accused O’Brien of offering an “incredibly generous interpretation for the president” when she presented him with the most recent reports.
O’Brien noted that former Bush strategist Matthew Dowd said that Republicans were wrong to rush into releasing a report on Benghazi prior to the November election because it had taken “months and months” to get answers about failed intelligence that indicated Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
“So, we’re going to blame this on Bush too?” Giuliani snapped at the CNN host.
“You’ve got to stop putting words in my mouth, sir!” O’Brien shot back. “Seriously, hang on, let me finish. Because every time I ask you a question — let me finish my point — every time I ask you a question, you like to push back as if the question that’s being posed to you is unfair, it’s not. I’m a journalist. You said some things, I’m trying to get some accurate responses from you.”
“It sounds to me like we are trying to blame it on Bush,” Giuliani insisted again. “It’s absurd to blame Benghazi on Bush.”
“That’s not what Matthew Dowd is saying,” O’Brien pointed out. “What Matthew Dowd is saying, similar situation, talking about weapons of mass destruction. And back then — in the same confusion — it took a long time. Years later, we still don’t know. He’s not saying, blame it on President Bush. He’s just saying, weeks in a place like Libya, it could take a long time before someone actually knows what exactly happened.”
“We always enjoy chatting with you,” she concluded. “It wakes me up, that’s for sure.”
Watch this video from CNN’s Starting Point, broadcast Oct. 22, 2012.