Here's the video (transcript below):
STEPHANIE CUTTER: In terms of the politicization of this — you know, we are here at a debate, and I hope we get to talk about the debate — but the entire reason this has become the political topic it is, is because of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. It’s a big part of their stump speech. And it’s reckless and irresponsible what they’re doing.
BROOKE BALDWIN: But, Stephanie, this is national security. As we witnessed this revolution last year, we covered it–
CUTTER: It is absolutely national security–
BALDWIN: –it is absolutely pertinent. People in the American public absolutely have a right to get answers.
Cutter immediately took to Twitter to double down on her declaration:
.@buzzfeedandrew Romney has politicized Libya w/no plans of his own. POTUS' priorities are getting facts & bringing terrorists to justice.
— Stephanie Cutter (@stefcutter) October 11, 2012
As if that wasn't enough, the Obama campaign continued its slog through the muck of Chicago-style, values-free politics, sending wannabe-journalism outlet BuzzFeed a statement further defending Cutter's despicable declaration:
From the time of the attack in Libya, Mitt Romney has stopped at nothing to politicize these events. While Mitt Romney, Congressman Ryan, and their Republican allies in Congress have turned a national tragedy into a political circus, the President has been focused on getting the facts, finding the terrorists responsible, and bringing them to justice. Our nation’s security and how we handle the transitions in the Middle East and North Africa are critical issues in this campaign, and just 26 days before an election, the American people deserve real ideas and specifics from Mitt Romney.
Of course, as CBS's Jan Crawford points out, Romney rarely mentions Benghazi on the campaign trail, even when presented the opportunity to do so:
@buzzfeedandrew On the trail, Romney almost never hits Benghazi. He had an easy shot yesterday in OH, in response to a question, and passed.
— Jan Crawford (@JanCBS) October 11, 2012
Further, as the Heritage Foundation pointed out in a video produced by our own Ben Howe, "getting the facts and bringing terrorists to justice" hasn't exactly been central to the administration's agenda in the weeks following the attack by Ansar al-Shariah on our consulate in Benghazi.
In the weeks since America's Ambassador to Libya was murdered in a terrorist attack, the Obama administration has done its best to ignore the attack – and, when forced to address it, to blame it on a ridiculous YouTube video, despite clear evidence to the contrary. The administration has been so intent on stonewalling on the issue that it took a House Oversight Committee hearing to pry from the State Department the fact that the protest outside the Benghazi consulate - which the Obama administration has spent weeks blaming for the attack - never existed. But, according to President Barack Obama's deputy campaign manager, the entire issue is only an issue at all because Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan haven't shut up about it.
It's disappointing, if altogether unsurprising, to see one of the chief mouthpieces of President Obama's Chicago machine stoop to this level. Then again, her boss - the President himself - has referred to the Benghazi attack as one of several "bumps in the road" for U.S. policy in the Middle East, so it may be that Obama HQ really does view this as a non-issue that is only being taken note of because the president's opponents won't just let it go.
Unless Obama makes the already embarrassing Cutter resign over this statement, he's tacitly giving his consent and agreement to a despicable declaration. Based on the type of campaign and administration Obama has chosen to run – Chicago-style, values-free, divorced from the truth and willing to do anything to win – it would be very surprising indeed if Cutter were held to account for this remark. Instead, the campaign will continue focusing on Big Issues, like billionaire muppet Big Bird, while their dirty opponents "play politics" by daring to continue mentioning, and requesting answers about, a terrorist attack on Americans.
It's noteworthy that Cutter isn't just speaking out of turn here. Obama's White House press secretary, Jay Carney, made the same statement (though without naming Romney and Ryan) yesterday:
Again, this is a moving picture, and people who on the night of an attack or the day after claim they know all the facts without making clear that what we know is based on preliminary information aren’t being straight, and they’re in some cases trying to politicize a situation that should not be politicized. I think that’s what the president was getting at. And I think many other people felt the same way.
There's a coordinated effort by President Barack "Bumps in the Road" Obama's administration and campaign staff to declare this terrorist attack a meaningless issue that's only being discussed because of "politicization," while maintaining that billionaire muppet Big Bird is a major, election-deciding issue. That's what the Obama campaign - and the Obama presidency - has devolved into at this point, three weeks before a presidential election. Amazing.