Newt Gingrich Bulldozes Democratic Libya Spin on CBS

While CBS This Morning asked only one tough question on the Obama administration and Libya on Friday, guest Newt Gingrich came out swinging and dismantled Democratic guest Jennifer Granholm's defense of the administration. CBS has at times been friendly to the administration over the fiasco.

"I think with regard to the debate and the election, I don't think people are going to be voting on Benghazi. I think they are going to be voting on who do you trust," Granholm ridiculously argued. "You want to talk about trust? Having an American ambassador and three other Americans killed while the President lies to you is a pretty big question," Gingrich shot back.

"Biden on Benghazi was so wrong last night, it's going to haunt them from now until the next debate," Gingrich declared.

Co-host Norah O'Donnell asked the lone tough question on Libya on Friday morning's segment. "Biden said we weren't told they wanted more security there, we did not know they wanted more security. As Jan pointed out we've had House hearings that says they asked the State Department multiple times for more security. Is that a problem for this administration?"

However, Rose later seemed to give the administration space on Libya. "But there's also the question of what intelligence did they get and what did the intelligence show from the beginning?" he asked after Gingrich slammed Obama for lying. Gingrich blew that question apart.

"The intelligence showed within hours this was a terrorist attack. People in the intelligence community said immediately it was an attack. The State Department said this week we never thought it was about the video," he responded.

Granholm chipped in more Democratic absurdity. "Honestly, there's no advantage for the administration to mislead the American people on something that is a tragedy like this," she insisted.

Norah O'Donnell then shifted the subject by echoing Granholm's Democratic spin from earlier. "I wonder how much the voters – I mean this is an important issue certainly, and the administration should be held accountable if they made misstatements. And – but how much is this election going to turn on foreign policy? Jobs and economy are still the number one issue," she asserted.

A transcript of the segment, which aired on October 12 on CBS This Morning at 7:08 a.m. EDT, is as follows:

NEWT GINGRICH: Biden on Benghazi was so wrong last night, it's going to haunt them from now until the next debate.

NORAH O'DONNELL: Let me ask you about that, Governor. Biden did say specifically last night, quote, Ryan accused Biden, said it took the President two weeks to acknowledge this was a terrorist attack. The President did say right after the attack that it was an act of terror and then Biden said we weren't told they wanted more security there, we did not know they wanted more security. As Jan pointed out we've had House hearings that says they asked the State Department multiple times for more security. Is that a problem for this administration?

JENNIFER GRANHOLM, (D) former Michigan governor: I think with regard to the debate and the election, I don't think people are going to be voting on Benghazi. I think they are going to be voting on who do you trust. And when Joe Biden looked in the camera and said who do you trust on these issues, people felt like he's right. Yes, the situation is evolving and he acknowledged that the situation is evolving, and they're doing an investigation. But for this election what's most important is how are these plans going to help me as a person in this economy, and those segments on the economy last night were fabulous.

GINGRICH: Let me just say Governor Granholm just put her finger on a key word, who do you trust. The Vice President of the United States doubled down on the President, who has for three weeks now, methodically misled the American people about Bengha– .

GRANHOLM: That's not true.

GINGRICH: It is true. The State Department said flatly this week they never thought it related to the video, they always thought it was terrorism. The State Department has said they asked for the security. The Ambassador's own diary says he had asked for the security. You want to talk about trust? Having an American ambassador and three other Americans killed while the President lies to you is a pretty big question.

ROSE: But there's also the question of what intelligence did they get and what did the intelligence show from the beginning?

GINGRICH: The intelligence showed within hours this was a terrorist attack. People in the intelligence community said immediately it was an attack. The State Department said this week we never thought it was about the video.

O'DONNELL: Mr. Speaker, the head of the National Intelligence unit, James Clapper, said though, that their intelligence was not clear in the beginning. They did change their assessment over time to say that they did not yet know it was a terrorist attack.

GINGRICH: Every political appointee is rallying around doing what political appointees are supposed to do.

ROSE: Are you saying that with respect to the politics of this, are you saying that the Obama administration misled because they were worried about the political considerations of what happened in Benghazi?

GINGRICH: Look, you have to ask why as recently as last night does the Vice President of the United States – you're asking me a judgment about motive. I don't know. As recently as last night the Vice President of the United States misled and misinformed the American people for, I presume, political purposes.

GRANHOLM: But you just accused the president of lying to the American people.

GINGRICH: Yes.

GRANHOLM: The intelligence was unclear.

GINGRICH: It's not true.

GRANHOLM: And there's an investigation going on. Honestly, there's no advantage for the administration to mislead the American people on something that is a tragedy like this.

O'DONNELL: I wonder how much the voters – I mean this is an important issue certainly, and the administration should be held accountable if they made misstatements. And – but how much is this election going to turn on foreign policy? Jobs and the economy are still the number one issue. And this was a pretty fierce debate between Biden and Ryan.
 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014