President Obama will take the oath of office next month for a second term that he will owe almost entirely to Candy Crowley, who interrupted the Oct. 16 debate over Obama’s Benghazi debacle and stole the election from Mitt Romney.
This will be the Crowley Term. Over the next four years, Crowley will be responsible for every new $1 trillion in federal debt, for every new year of high underemployment, for every new preventable attack by tyrants on the free, and for every new otherwise avoidable terrorist atrocity allowed by the Obama administration.
Candy Crowley decided the election. On Oct. 16, Mitt Romney’s campaign had strong positive momentum. He had overwhelmed Obama in the first debate and was about to overwhelm him in the second by exposing the president’s cover-up of the fatal failure in Benghazi. But then “debate moderator” Crowley stepped in, embarrassed Romney unjustifiably and eliminated any chance the press would examine or explain the Benghazi scandal between the second debate and the third, final debate.
Laughing at Romney. She cost Romney at least 2 percentage points at the Election Day polls. CNN’s chief political correspondent cost Romney the election.
By bungling the second presidential debate of 2012, Crowley gave Obama another four years to stifle America with inept, pandering, destructive economics. She gave the current administration another four years to further weaken the Free World as tyrants and terrorists grow stronger.
At that second presidential debate, Romney challenged Obama’s claim to have immediately labeled the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack an “act of terror.” Before Romney and Obama could debate the point, Crowley declared Obama was right, inviting laughter at Romney and applause for Obama from the audience at Hofstra University. Crowley then immediately changed the subject, denying the two candidates a chance to clarify their points of contention.
Crowley was wrong. Obama had not directly called the Benghazi, Libya, attack an act of terror. Late in his Sept. 12 Rose Garden statement, the president referred generally to “acts of terror,” but the phrasing was so vague that, later, he just as easily could have cited the same words to deny calling Benghazi an act of terror. In the Rose Garden, he clearly wanted to avoid admitting defeat to the terrorists whom his campaign claimed he already had decimated.
His Sept. 12 speech directly called the Benghazi attack an “outrageous and shocking attack,” a “terrible act.” But never an "act of terror." It also implied strongly that the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were not the result of an organized assault by a terrorist enemy, but a spontaneous riot by Muslims riled up over an American’s anti-Muhammad video on the Internet.
Obama made his cover-up position clear in an interview later Sept. 12, when Steve Kroft of CBS News pointedly asked him why he had not called Benghazi a terrorist attack, and Obama agreed he had not called it a terrorist attack. (It was “too early to tell,” Obama said.) But CBS did not broadcast Obama’s answer that day and again failed to broadcast it immediately after the Oct. 16 debate, when it would have proved Romney’s point. CBS finally released the interview transcript just days before the election. But because Crowley had snuffed the Benghazi debate, few voters could understand the interview’s significance. (And the predominantly Democratic press did its best not to put the delayed CBS interview into context.)
Falsehood to power. It was Candy Crowley who did the important damage. The debate moderator became the debate obliterator. Thanks to her, America’s voters were denied a look into how the Obama administration assesses threats and defends Americans in peril. Thanks to her, America’s voters were shut off from the true story of how the administration responds in a crisis.
Thanks to her, Obama was not held accountable. Crowley owns the next four years. This is her term.
* * *
Footnote: Exactly how did that key exchange at the Oct. 16 presidential debate go? Read on to review Crowley's pivotal role.
Obama: The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people in the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened. That this was an act of terror and I also said that we're going to hunt down those who committed this crime.
And then a few days later, I was there greeting the caskets coming into Andrews Air Force Base and grieving with the families.
And the suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the Secretary of State, our U.N. Ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we've lost four of our own, governor, is offensive. That's not what we do. That's not what I do as president, that's not what I do as Commander in Chief.
Crowley: Governor, if you want to...
Romney: Yes, I — I...
Crowley: ... quickly to this please.
Romney: I — I think interesting the president just said something, which is that on the day after the attack he went into the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror.
Obama: That's what I said.
Romney: 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?
Crowley: He — he did call it an act of terror. (Applause and laughter) It did as well take — it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correct about that.
Romney: This — the administration — the administration indicated this was a reaction to a video and was a spontaneous reaction.
Crowley: It did.
Romney: It took them a long time to say this was a terrorist act by a terrorist group. And to suggest — am I incorrect in that regard, on Sunday, the — your secretary —
Romney: Excuse me. The ambassador of the United Nations went on the Sunday television shows and spoke about how —
Obama: Candy, I'm —
Romney: — this was a spontaneous —
Crowley: Mr. President, let me —
Obama: I'm happy to have a longer conversation —
Crowley: I know you —
Obama: — about foreign policy.
Crowley: Absolutely. But I want to — I want to move you on and also —
Obama: OK. I'm happy to do that, too.
Crowley: — the transcripts and —
Obama: I just want to make sure that —
Crowley: — figure out what we —
Obama: — all of these wonderful folks are going to have a chance to get some of their questions answered.
Crowley: Because what I — what I want to do, Mr. President, stand there a second, because I want to introduce you to Nina Gonzalez, who brought up a question that we hear a lot, both over the Internet and from this crowd.
Question: President Obama, during the Democratic National Convention in 2008, you stated you wanted to keep AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. What has your administration done or planned to do to limit the availability of assault weapons?
* * *