The moderator in Tuesday night’s presidential debate, after appearing to side with President Obama on the question of whether he called the Libya strike a terror attack from the start, conceded afterward that Mitt Romney was “right” on the broader point — that the administration for days insisted it was a spontaneous act.
“He was right in the main. I just think he picked the wrong word,” Candy Crowley said of Romney on CNN shortly after the debate ended.
Crowley was referring to the tense exchange in the final half-hour of the debate, when Romney questioned whether Obama had called the attack an “act of terror” rather than “spontaneous” violence that grew out of a protest against an anti-Islam video.
Crowley then intervened. Here’s the exchange:
ROMNEY: I think (it’s) interesting the president just said something which — 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.