Who Won the Debate: Obama is Clear Winner on Libya, Gains Ground on Romney
The third presidential debate was won by President Obama and Mitt Romney in their own ways. Mitt Romney won by getting to speak rehearsed lines on foreign policy head-to-head with Obama. When you see that, remember how much Romney offended the British and inflamed passions in the Middle East while actually taking a foreign trip. President Obama wins by expressing his successes and experience as Commander-in-Chief. The presidential debate will remind people of many of Obama’s foreign policy wins, while Romney tries to pin every failure to Obama. The winner of the presidential debate will not be clear because each candidate will win the debate in their own way.
While Mitt Romney will work to spread Romnesia and make everyone forget that other leaders were involved, it is important to remember that Congressional Republicans played a role in the Libya mission. Now, before you call me out for pointing fingers, I will show you video of House Republican Jason Chaffetz from Utah stating that he voted against increased security funding for the State Department, while disavowing responsibility for himself. Rep Chaffetz calls it a small number of security personnel and a “red herring,” to be talking about it because his cuts did not pass. Dana Milbank from the Washington Post, however, reported as hundreds of millions was slashed from State Department protective services funding.
Take a look at Rep. Chaffetz as he boasts of slashing embassy protection funding that would have gone straight to Libya. Today, this Rep. is leading the commission investigating the failures in Libya security and attacking the President.
Paul Ryan also wrote a budget, which slashed hundreds of millions of dollars in embassy protective funding. Mitt Romney endorsed Ryan’s budget. Now, they attack Obama because there was not enough security in Libya.
Here is the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank’s breakdown of what happened with embassy security funding. Basically, for several years House Republicans who have the power of the purse have been slashing the President’s funding for embassy security.
“For fiscal 2013, the GOP-controlled House proposed spending $1.934 billion for the State Department’s Worldwide Security Protection program — well below the $2.15 billion requested by the Obama administration. House Republicans cut the administration’s request for embassy security funding by $128 million in fiscal 2011 and $331 million in fiscal 2012. (Negotiations with the Democrat-controlled Senate restored about $88 million of the administration’s request.) Last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that Republicans’ proposed cuts to her department would be “detrimental to America’s national security” — a charge Republicans rejected.
[GOP vice presidential nominee Paul] Ryan, [Rep. Darrell] Issa and other House Republicans voted for an amendment in 2009 to cut $1.2 billion from State operations, including funds for 300 more diplomatic security positions. Under Ryan’s budget, non-defense discretionary spending, which includes State Department funding, would be slashed nearly 20 percent in 2014, which would translate to more than $400 million in additional cuts to embassy security.”
So, as you look back at the Presidential debate and Romney’s criticism of Obama’s handling of Libya, remember House Republicans. They undermined the entire mission while it was occurring and then slashed Obama’s requested State Department funding for protective services. The House Republicans now lead politically motivated hearings to pin blame on President Obama for the consequences of too little protection at the Libyan embassy.
Watch Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings in the House Oversight committee explain that the House slashed funding for embassy security far below what President Obama requested.