No one told Mitt Romney that he would be the lone Republican taking part in a three-way debate on Tuesday night; but, not altogether unpredictably, that’s the way it turned out.
According to debate moderator and part-time participant Candy Crowley, it was “instinct” that forced her to intercede on Obama’s behalf during the somewhat rancorous discussion of the Benghazi murder of Ambassador Stevens and 3 other Americans. When Romney stated quite correctly that it took the Obama Administration 14 days to call the Benghazi killings a terror attack, Obama protested, and Crowley immediately came to his rescue, saying to Romney “he did, in fact, Sir (call it an act of terror,)” referring to a statement given by the president the day after the killings.
What Obama really said was “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.” Although this was indeed part of a statement given the day after the Benghazi attacks, Obama had NOT referenced the Benghazi killings as the “acts of terror” he spoke of. Rather, it was a general statement that could have just as easily referred to the 9/11 attacks the president had brought up at the same time. And it is a fact that no one in the Obama Administration–including Obama himself—spoke of terror in relation to Benghazi for the next 2 weeks, opting instead to call the 4 deaths the result of an “anti-Muhammed movie” discovered on the internet. Certainly, that would have been an odd tack for the Administration to take had the president actually referred to the Benghazi murders as “acts of terror” on the day after they had occurred.
Yet Crowley felt it her duty, or rather a matter of “instinct”, to come to Obama’s defense at this key moment in the debate.
Funny the instinctive moderator didn’t believe it necessary to correct Obama when he claimed that “…oil production has been up and that the oil companies have been granted permits to drill but refuse to do so.” “We have increased oil production to the highest levels in 16 years,” said the president, apparently oblivious to the fact that oil companies have vacated the Gulf of Mexico, costing Americans thousands of jobs.
But Romney quickly corrected Obama, telling the audience that “oil production is down 14 percent this year on federal land, and gas production was down 9 percent. Why? Because the president cut in half the number of licenses and permits for drilling on federal lands, and in federal waters.” Yet, for some reason, Ms. Crowley did NOT admonish the president for his less-than-factual claims! Apparently, she did not have these facts at her fingertips as she obviously did Obama’s Benghazi statement.
Mitt Romney won this debate, defeating Barack Obama and his obliging assistant with both facts and superior delivery. Of course, most of the media immediately declared Obama the victor, but that was to be expected.
So polls are not likely to change a great deal as a result of the town hall, unless a few undecided voters who paid close attention now decide to support Romney, thanks to the smarmy antics of Candy Crowley.