Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Sunday suggested that President Barack Obama was “disengaged” and personally responsible for some of the deaths caused by a terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11 of last year, but seemingly forgot that President George W. Bush read the book “My Pet Goat” for seven minutes as almost 3,000 people died during the 2001 terrorist attacks.
“Did the president at any time during this eight hour attack pick up the phone and call anybody in Libya to get help for these folks?” Graham opined during an interview on CBS News. “And I do believe if he had picked up the phone, called the Libyan government, these folks could have gotten out of the airport to the annex, and the last two guys may very well be alive… But if he failed to call on behalf of those people under siege then I think that’s a massive failure of leadership by our commander in chief.”
CBS host Bob Schieffer asked Graham if he had any proof that the president had not made an attempt to contact Libya during the September attacks.
“I don’t know what the president did that evening,” the South Carolina senator admitted. “I don’t know if he ever called anyone, I know that he never talked to the secretary of defense, I know that he never talked to the chairman of the Join Chiefs. They never talked to anybody at the White House.”
“This was incredibly mismanaged, and what we know now, it seems to be a very disengaged president,” he added. “Again, if he had lent his voice to this cause, I think it would have made a big difference. And I’m not going to stop until we get an accounting.”
“We know nothing about what the president did on the night of Sept. 11th during a time of national crisis, and the American people need to know what their commander in chief did, if anything, during the eight hour attack.”
As Bush was reading the book “My Pet Goat” with school children on Sept. 11, 2001, Chief of Staff Andrew Card interrupted to let him know a second plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York City.
According to the St. Petersburg Times, the president waited for the lesson to be completed and even took a few questions from the children.
Bush finally explained his seven minutes of silence during a 2011 interview.
“My first reaction was anger,” he told the National Geographic Channel. “Who the hell would do that to America? Then I immediately focused on the children, and the contrast between the attack and the innocence of children.”
“So I made the decision not to jump up immediately and leave the classroom. I didn’t want to rattle the kids. I wanted to project a sense of calm.”
Watch this video from CBS’s Face the Nation, broadcast Feb. 10, 2013.