Candidate Romney gets conned by a con!


Anatomy of a famous blunder/The transcript of what Romney said: Following a rare social engagement, we now give you the transcript of Candidate Romney’s great and soon-to-be-famous historic debate blunder.

Below, you see what Romney said. Given the bullroar which has reigned for a month, it’s easy to see why he said it:
ROMNEY (10/16/12): I think interesting— The president just said something which, which is that, on the day after the [Benghazi] attack, he went into the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror.

OBAMA: That’s what I said.

ROMNEY (with an air of vast assurance): You said in the Rose Garden, the day after the attack, it was an act of terror. It was not a spontaneous demonstration. Is that what you’re saying?

OBAMA: Please proceed, governor.

ROMNEY: I want to make sure we get that for the record, because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.

OBAMA: Get the transcript.

CROWLEY: It, it, it—he did in fact, sir. So let me—let me call it an act of terror—

OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy?
Oof! Obama should have followed up by seeing if Romney knows the price of a loaf of bread!

Kidding aside, Romney’s language shows how a month-long con can come back to bite the con man.

Over the past month, everyone has agreed to pretend that Susan Rice went on the Sunday shows on September 16 and said that a spontaneous demonstration somehow turned into a deadly attack.

That simply isn’t what she said. But Republican hacks—and mainstream journalists—have said that's what she said.

Again and again in the past few weeks, we’ve had this experience:

We’ve watched some know-nothing cable host describe what Rice said on the Sunday shows. He then plays tape of Rice on one of the shows—and she isn’t saying what the cable host just got through saying she said.

We’ll grant you—many of these cable hosts don’t have the intellectual skill to see that Rice wasn’t saying what they just said she said. They had memorized the prevailing narrative—or they were reading from prompter.

At any rate:

Right up through that disgraceful report in yesterday morning’s Washington Post, “journalists” have claimed that Ambassador Rice said that a spontaneous demonstration somehow got out of control.

Plainly, that isn’t what she said. But Romney got conned by the con.

In the transcript we show you above, Romney is sweetly reciting the con. By last night, it seems fairly clear that Romney must have believed it.

Sorry—that isn’t what Susan Rice said! But last night, seeming sure he was right, Romney got conned by the con.

By the way, concerning the politics: This remains a very dangerous topic for Obama’s re-election. Liberals should learn to correct the bogus narratives concerning what Rice really said.

Alas! On cable, the children won’t do that unless Axelrod says. On cable, the liberal children pretty much do what they’re told.

Perhaps they can have their favorite policy analyst explain what Ambassador Rice really said. Progressive interests are put in danger by the way they recite and fawn.


  1. I think you are wrong, and I think the Administration definitely was either wrong or distorted what happened in Libya. I have followed the reports from the beginning, and you are wrong.

    1. You just go ahead and past here in the comment box what "you think" Ambassador Susan Rice really said.

      'Cause it's quotes or walk, loser.

    2. Anon. 4:32

      "I have followed the reports from the beginning ...."

      Somereby has devoted the last few posts explaining how this incident has been butchered by the "mainstream media" and hucked to the rubes, including Romoney - by the wingnut noise machine.

      You believe what you want to believe but your "gotcha" moment about Libya is dead meat. President will stick a fork in it next week.

    3. Ignored pleas for security and repeated mentions of a video aren't a gotcha moment, they are facts that reveal a negligent and confused or mendacious administration.

    4. Who made the specific plea for more security at the Benghazi compound? What exactly did they ask for?

      And why, oh why, was MITT ROMNEY the first person to conflate the video with the attack in Benghazi?

    5. You "think he's wrong." Real convincing argument.

      AC in MA


    6. Gop paid for the movie
      Gop is to blame

  2. While we're taking words at their face value without attention to context, on 9/20 Carney said it was "a fact" that the White House had not characterized it as a terrorist attack, evidently agreeing with Candy Crowley that Romney was accurate in the main.

    Q No, I just hadn’t heard the White House say that this was an act of terrorism or a terrorist attack. And I just –

    MR. CARNEY: I don’t think the fact that we hadn’t is not — as our NCTC Director testified yesterday,

  3. Ya know, regardless of whether or not the Administration got it 'wrong' in the beginning, the whole debate is a bit of a crock, and a red herring. The truth is, and I say this as someone who has spent time professionally in a post-conflict setting, these situations are extremely fluid and uncertain. Things went wrong very quickly, and there was a lot of uncertainty about how they went wrong and when. It hardly means that the Administration was fundamentally unprepared, or deceitful about what happened.

    But it is a red herring in the sense that this is a willful distraction against Obama's very aggressive foreign policy when it comes to al Qeda and terrorism. Like it or not, the man has pulled the trigger on a significant number of aggressive operations, with the killing of bin Laden at the top of the list. Benghazi is tragic, but its small potatoes next to the bin Laden killing. Romney and his hacks have us talking about the former rather than the latter.

    1. Well, in fairness, the killing of our ambassador and the raising of the al Qaeda flag over four of our embassies on 9/11 kind of detracts from Obama's end zone dance about al Qaeda being decimated.

    2. It's perfectly obvious that what happened in Libya must be the fault of Obama and his administration, and somehow undoes the killing of Osama bin Laden and other successes at undermining Al Qaeda.

      Just so, the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983 was Ronald Reagan's fault.

      Simple as that. Perfect logic.

    3. It's not a question of fault, it's that apparently we haven't "undermined" al Qaeda quite as much as claimed. A premature "Mission Accomplished" if you will.

    4. Yeah, we know all about premature "Mission Accomplished."

      By the way, who told you that the only terrorists in the world are formally linked to al-Qaeda, ergo every terrorist attack is the work of al-Qaeda?

      Don't keep on top of world events much, do you?

    5. By the way, ABL. The video protesters at other embassies who brought al-Qaeda flags were no more al-Qaeda than the hippie radicals of the Vietnam era (who later became stockbrokers and accountants), became Chinese because they sometimes carried pictures of Chairman Mao.

    6. Possibly the raising of 4 al Qaeda flags over 4 embassies on 9/11 was just a coincidence. If so, it's one he'll of a coincidence, huh?

    7. I go to a Mexican bar and restaurant on St. Patrick's Day. The owner, a friend named Jose, displays an Irish flag. Does that him Irish?

      What you got here is that at least four yahoos have al Qaeda flags and brought them to the protests. Period.

    8. Right. It's just a coincidence. The idea that the attacks could have been coordinated is just plain crazy.

    9. Two quick points, "undermining" isn't the same as "defeating". Considering what kind of movement al Qaeda is, we're probably never going to defeat it in a classic sense. It's a nebulous network of organizations, groups, and radicalized individuals. And related to that, there's no such thing as the 'al Qaeda' flag.

      My prediction, Republican fury about Benghazi will stop the day after the election, just like the phony indignation over the 'Ground Zero Mosque' stopped the day after the mid-term elections. It's just political manipulation.

  4. The problem with this whole Gaffe of the Ages story is that Obama did not say that the Benghazi attack was an act of terror. He used the phrase "acts of terror" but only after he had mentioned 9/11 and not specifically in regard to Benghazi. It looked like a big win for Obama because Crowley intervened but it's going to play out differently. It is amusing to see Bob jumping up and down because the media isn't making a big enough deal of a gaffe. Everybody gets tribal before an election, I guess.

    1. So you're sticking with the story that Obama didn't make his antecedents clear enough? In spite of the fact that no native speaker of English (without an axe to grind) would construe Obama's comments in context to exclude the very attack that was the occasion for his appearance?

      OK. But given your comment about Somerby, I'm beginning to think that your problem understanding English may be larger than I first thought. Somerby doesn't complain about the media not talking up Rmoney's obvious gaffe; he comments on what happens when someone relies on media people known for incompetence and dishonesty. But since that's Rmoney as well, how did the con artists manage to con a con artist? Shouldn't he have seen that coming? It's sort of a "When ironic things happen to bad people" story.

    2. As Colbert just said, just because Obama said "acts of terror" in a speech about the Benghazi attack the day after the Benghazi attack doesn't mean he was talking about the Benghazi attack.

    3. Sure, the implication is that he meant Benghazi, but he didn't say it. He didn't say it.

    4. Mentally disABLed PersonOctober 18, 2012 at 7:32 AM

      ...which though of absolutely zero rhetorical significance, somehow anyway proves Romney's "larger point" -- this administration isn't taking our security/terrorism seriously enough.

    5. Yes, ABL, when the president specifically spoke about the attack in Benghazi and used the words "acts of terror", promised a full investigation, and promised that the perpetrators would be brought to justice, he was obviously talking about something else.

      And up is down, north is south, the sky is pink, and a Cocker Spaniel puppy is really a duck because it can swim.

      This is the problem with attempting a dialogue with a hard ideologue. When the objective truth doesn't work, you invent your own "truth" and that becomes your new Bible.

      The president couldn't have possibly been more clear on Sept. 12, and to the rest of the world, Obama was talking about Benghazi when he issued his statement about Benghazi.

      But when Mitt Romney said, also quite clearly, it took him two weeks to get around to calling Benghazi an act of terror, don't believe your lying ears or your lying eyes.

      Mitt has just gotta be telling the truth, right? After all, he would never, ever attempt to use this solely for political advantage. Would he?

    6. If it was so all-fired clear that Obama had called it a terror attack, why did the administration spend the next week refusing to call it an act of terror? Why did Obama, after this last debate, explain to the guy that asked the question why he delayed labeling the attack an act of terror (because he wanted to be sure)?

      The closest you have to a gotcha is "no, he strongly implied it was an act of terror" which ain't much.

    7. "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. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done."

      Yep. Only "implied" it. And only on Bizarro World

  5. Quaker in a BasementOctober 17, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Reporting in the NYT contemporary with the attack AND this week show that the fighters who staged the attack said the insulting film trailer prompted the attack. The same bunch attacked diplomatic posts for Italy and Tunisa over the past few years.

    So who are you gonna believe about the attackers motives? Certainly not the attackers themselves!

  6. She did claim it was a spontaneous act caused by the video, despite what the idiot who wrote this article said. Here's the actual transcript:

    GREGORY: Well, let’s talk-- talk about-- well, you talked about this as spontaneous. Can you say definitively that the attacks on-- on our consulate in Libya that killed ambassador Stevens and others there security personnel, that was spontaneous, was it a planned attack? Was there a terrorist element to it?
    MS. RICE: Well, let us-- let me tell you the-- the best information we have at present. First of all, there’s an FBI investigation which is ongoing. And we look to that investigation to give us the definitive word as to what transpired. But putting together the best information that we have available to us today our current assessment is that what happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of-- of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video.

    1. Of course you cherry picked this quote by leaving out the 2nd part.

  7. Here's the rest of the quote.

    " What we think then transpired in Benghazi is that opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding. They came with heavy weapons which unfortunately are readily available in post revolutionary Libya. And it escalated into a much more violent episode. Obviously, that's-- that's our best judgment now. We'll await the results of the investigation. And the president has been very clear--we'll work with the Libyan authorities to bring those responsible to justice. " [MSNBC, Meet the Press, 9/16/12]

    So she still thinks it was a " spontaneous reaction " but a few bad guys who just happened to be carrying rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades, anti-aircraft weapons, assault rifles, gun trucks, mortars, and diesel canisters decided to jump in.

    Well , I guess that's possible.

    But it still does not change the fact that Rice called it a " spontaneous reaction ".

    " what happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, "

    "In fact ". What the hell is the author of this article not comprehending ? I agree with the guy who called the author an idiot.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. So you say it is "possible," but then you say it is impossible?

      What kind of doublespeak is that?