Campaigns Discuss Libya
Obama senior campaign strategist David Axelrod defended the White House against accusations that the administration should have known about the repeated requests for security by those on the ground in Libya in the months before September 11.
Axelrod said that these requests go to the State Department, not to the White House, backing up what Vice President Joe Biden said at Thursday’s vice-presidential debate.
“The fundamental thing -nobody on this planet is more concerned in getting to bottom of this than the president of the United States,” Axelrod said.
“He feels personal responsibility” for all those sent out he added.
Asked by “Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace if the president bears responsibility, regardless of whether the White House knew about the security requests, Axelrod said, “At the top line level the President of the United States is responsible for everything that happens under his watch.”
Axelrod said a separate issue from the investigation is how the president’s opponent Mitt Romney handled the immediate aftermath.
“Governor Romney jumped in on the day of attacks with half truths,” Axelrod said.
“No doubt he’s working hard to exploit this issue,” he added.
Ed Gillespie, Romney campaign senior adviser, said getting to the truth is essential in order to fix what went wrong.
And he placed blame on the Obama White House for how they handled communication with the American public in the days following the attacks on Benghazi.
“What we have seen is a constantly shifting story from this administration…Clearly what we have been seeing is an effort to say ‘no it’s really Secretary Clinton, the State Department you ought to be criticizing here, instead of us here at White House,’” Gillespie said.