The Obama campaign denied Sunday that the president was deliberately stalling to avoid providing answers about the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, until after Tuesday’s election.
Asked on “Fox News Sunday” if President Obama had made a “calculated decision to run out the clock,” senior campaign strategist David Axelrod replied, “No.”
“The president has said we want to get to the bottom of it; we want to share it with the American people; we want to get it right,” said Mr. Axelrod, noting that the incident is under review.
Mr. Axelrod declined to say whether Mr. Obama was aware of decisions by the Red Cross and the British government to pull its personnel prior to the Sept. 11 siege.
“All I can tell you is that the president is fully committed to the safety of his diplomats,” said Mr. Axelrod. “Any suggestion that he would not take the necessary steps to protect them . . . is just nonsense.”
Mr. Axelrod also defended the president’s decision to make a campaign appearance in Las Vegas shortly after receiving news of the raid, which resulted in the deaths four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
“Immediately when word of the attack came, the president was meeting with his top national security folks, he was meeting with them in the night, he was in touch with them the next day as well, so there’s no question that he was focused on this,” Mr. Axelrod said. “Everything was put in motion that he could put in motion; every conversation that needed to be had was being had between him and his top security professionals.”