In the hours since the Vice Presidential candidates debate Oct. 11, Mitt Romney and others are continuing to press the point that Biden and the White House are lying and covering up, over their demurrals on the Benghazi deaths—that they had legitimate grounds to assert falsely that the attack wasn't planned, and that no consular staff had asked for more protection in advance.
Republicans: What Do You Mean, 'You Didn't know?'
MITT ROMNEY, in Virginia Friday, said: "When the vice president directly contradicts the sworn testimony of State Department officials ... the American people deserve to know what happened." He said this at a campaign event, covered by ABC TV last night, which further reported, "Mitt Romney today said Vice President Joe Biden is 'doubling down on denial,' when he said during the debate last night that the Administration was not told the U.S. consulate in Libya wanted more security ahead of the deadly attacks there last month."
MITCH MCCONNELL, Senate Minority Leader, said, according to ABC News/Yahoo Oct. 12, "'It leaves you with the suspicion that since the President was in the campaign, going around reminding everybody that bin Laden was gone and we were out of Iraq and we would soon be out of Afghanistan and implying that the war on terror was over, that the campaign just felt it was inconvenient that we had a terrorist attack,' McConnell said."
White House: We Didn't Know
BEN RHODES, the Deputy National Security Advisor for Communications, is cited as a source in the Obama Administration for asserting that Obama and Biden knew nothing about requests for more security protection for the Benghazi consulate. Rhodes is cited by writer Josh Rogin in an Oct. 12 article on The Cable (thecable.foreignpolicy.com). Rogin writes:
"The Cable asked Deputy National Security Advisor for Communications Ben Rhodes whether Biden was speaking for the entire Obama Administration, including the State Department, which acknowledged receiving multiple requests for more Libya security in the months before the attacks. Rhodes said that Biden speaks only for himself and the President, and neither of them knew about the requests at the time.
"The State Department security officials who testified before House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa's panel Wednesday never said they had made their requests to the President, Rhodes pointed out. That would be natural because the State Department is responsible for diplomatic security, not the White House, he said. Rhodes also pointed out that the officials were requesting more security in Tripoli, not Benghazi."
REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-MD) defended Biden and Obama Friday, telling CNN, "What the vice president is saying is that he and the President didn't know," said Van Hollen, who helped Biden prepare for the debate. "This information had been communicated, at least according to the hearings, to the diplomatic security folks at the State Department and some others. But it wasn't communicated to the President."
SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON, speaking at a Washington event on West Africa Oct. 12, answered a reporter's question on what was known about Benghazi: "To this day we do not have a complete picture, we do not have all the answers. No one in this Administration has ever claimed otherwise. Every one of us have made clear that we are providing the best information we have at that time. And that information continues to be updated. It also continues to be put into context and more deeply understood."