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Romney says Biden ‘doubling down on denial’ on Libya

- The Washington Times - Friday, October 12, 2012

Mitt Romney said Friday that Vice President Joseph R. Biden raised more questions than he answered in this week's debate when he denied he had been told about security warnings in Libya ahead of the terrorist assault that killed four Americans, including the ambassador.

"He's doubling down on denial, and we need to understand exactly what happened as opposed to people just pushing this aside," Mr. Romney said at a rally in Richmond.

His remarks came a day after Mr. Biden and GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan faced off in their sole debate of the campaign season. During the debate, Mr. Biden blamed the intelligence community for failing to see terrorism in the immediate aftermath of the attack, and also said he was never made aware American diplomats had fears about security in Libya.

"Well, we weren't told they wanted more security again. We did not know they wanted more security again," Mr. Biden said. "And by the way, at the time we were told exactly — we said exactly what the intelligence community told us that they knew. That was the assessment. And as the intelligence community changed their view, we made it clear they changed their view."

At the White House, press secretary Jay Carney said when Mr. Biden said "we" he had meant the White House was not involved in the security decisions, which were made by the State Department.

"He was speaking directly for himself and for the president. He meant the White House," Mr. Carney said, adding that Mr. Biden meant there was "no actionable intelligence regarding the Benghazi facility" that was brought to the White House's attention.

He accused Republicans of trying "to turn this into an issue in the campaign," but said Mr. Obama is instead focused on trying to figure out what happened with security and to track down those who killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans on Sept. 11.

Mr. Carney even tried to blame Republicans for endangering embassy security by seeking across-the-board tax cuts.

"This president fights to make sure that embassy security and diplomatic security is adequately funded, make sure that that funding is restored when efforts on Capitol Hill are made, principally by House Republicans, including Congressman Ryan, to slash it in order to cut taxes for the wealthiest 2 percent in this country," Mr. Carney said.

• Staff writer Dave Boyer contributed to this article.

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