Romney Still Isn’t Over That Benghazi Debate

AP

He may have suffered a resounding defeat to President Obama in 2012, but Mitt Romney still can’t quite get over a debate in which he says the moderator improperly fact checked one his statements about the Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya.

Appearing on the Hugh Hewitt radio show Monday, the former governor of Massachusetts said that CNN’s Candy Crowley shouldn’t have waded into an exchange about whether the President called the attack an act of terror the following morning in a statement in the White House Rose Garden.

“Well, I don’t think it’s the role of the moderator in a debate to insert themselves into the debate and to declare a winner or a loser on a particular point,” Romney said of the October, 2012 debate, as quoted by Mediaite. “And I must admit that, at that stage, I was getting a little upset at Candy, because in a prior setting where I was to have had the last word, she decided that Barack Obama was to get the last word despite the rules that we had.”

While Obama did refer to “acts of terror” in the statement, his administration later attributed the attack to a spontaneous protest against an inflammatory video.

“Please proceed, governor,” is how Obama put it at the time, before Crowley interjected.

“So, she obviously thought it was her job to play a more active role in the debate than was agreed upon by the two candidates,” Romney added, “and I thought her jumping into the interaction I was having with the president was also a mistake on her part and one I would have preferred to carry out between the two of us, because I was prepared to go after him for misrepresenting to the American people that the nature of the attack.”

Crowley drew heavy fire from conservatives in the immediate aftermath, and a co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates subsequently called her selection as a moderator a “mistake.”

Watch the moment below:

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Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site's coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at igor@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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