When you spend all your media time being interviewed by Jon Stewart, MTV, and the ladies of The View, I guess you get used to never being asked the tough questions. President Obama, doing a satellite interview tour of battleground states was thoroughly, but politely, undressed by KUSA anchor Kyle Clark on Friday. He asked a series of direct and pointed questions that other members of the media aren’t asking. What he got from the President was campaign-speak and evasion.
Here are some of the juicy excepts of the exchange (via KUSA)
KYLE CLARK: Were the Americans under attack at the consulate in Benghazi Libya denied requests for help during that attack? And is it fair to tell Americans that what happened is under investigation and we’ll all find out after the election?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, the election has nothing to do with four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out exactly what happened. These are folks who served under me who I had sent to some very dangerous places. Nobody wants to find out more what happened than I do. But we want to make sure we get it right, particularly because I have made a commitment to the families impacted as well as to the American people, we’re going to bring those folks to justice. So, we’re going to gather all the facts, find out exactly what happened, and make sure that it doesn’t happen again but we’re also going to make sure that we bring to justice those who carried out these attacks.
KYLE CLARK: Were they denied requests for help during the attack?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, we are finding out exactly what happened. I can tell you, as I’ve said over the last couple of months since this happened, the minute I found out what was happening, I gave three very clear directives. Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to. Number two, we’re going to investigate exactly what happened so that it doesn’t happen again. Number three, find out who did this so we can bring them to justice. And I guarantee you that everyone in the state department, our military, the CIA, you name it, had number one priority making sure that people were safe. These were our folks and we’re going to find out exactly what happened, but what we’re also going to do it make sure that we are identifying those who carried out these terrible attacks.
KYLE CLARK: In a national address, you touted the stimulus money going to Abound Solar – a Colorado company connected to one of your billionaire fundraisers. Now, as you may know, Abound Solar is out of business and under criminal investigation. The jobs are gone and taxpayers are out about 60 million dollars. How do you answer critics who see Abound Solar as Colorado’s Solyndra – a politically connected clean energy company that went under and took our money with it?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: (Laughs) Well, Kyle, I think that if you look at our record that these loans that are given out by the Department of Energy for clean energy have created jobs all across the country and only about four percent of these loans were going to some very cutting-edge industries that are going to allow us to figure out how to produce energy in a clean, renewable way in the future and create jobs in Colorado and all around the country. And some of them have failed but the vast majority of them are pushing us forward into a clean energy direction. And that’s good for Colorado and good for the country. And these are decisions, by the way, that are made by the Department of Energy, they have nothing to do with politics.
KYLE CLARK: Mr. President, you’ve called for more civility in our nation’s political conversation – and much has obviously been made about the tone of this race. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, you called Governor Romney a “bullshitter.” What did you mean and why did you choose that word?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know, this was a conversation after an interview, a casual conversation with a reporter. The basic point that I’ve been talking about throughout this campaign, is people know what I mean and they know that I mean what I say and what I care about, who I’m fighting for and you know a major issue in any election is can you count on the person you’re putting into the Oval Office fighting for you having a clear set of convictions that they believe in.
It’s hard to tell who looks worse; the President or the rest of the mainstream media who go all soft and gooey when they get an audience with the President.
Update: The CIA has told ABC’s Jake Tapper that they didn’t deny any request for support.
Earlier today, Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin reported that CIA agents in the second U.S. compound in Benghazi were denied requests for help.
In response, CIA spokesperson Jennifer Youngblood said, “We can say with confidence that the Agency reacted quickly to aid our colleagues during that terrible evening in Benghazi. Moreover, no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. In fact, it is important to remember how many lives were saved by courageous Americans who put their own safety at risk that night-and that some of those selfless Americans gave their lives in the effort to rescue their comrades.”
Notice that they didn’t deny requests were made, just that they didn’t deny any request for help. Left unsaid is whether such a denial may have been made by the President.