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Monday, October 15, 2012

Giuliani Criticizes Obama on Handling of Benghazi Attack

On the evening that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said she took responsibility for the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, had harsh words for President Obama's handling of the situation in the Middle East, calling it “a policy of provocative weakness.”

“You look at the disaster in Libya, you look at all the contradictory stories of this administration,” he said. “This is a scandal.”

Mr. Giuliani was heading into a high-dollar fund-raising dinner that Representative Paul D. Ryan held for Mitt Romney at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York when he made his remarks, and it was unclear if he had heard Mrs. Clinton's recent comments on CNN's “OutFront.” In a Monday night interview, the secretary of state said, “I take responsibility” for the events in Libya, adding that so close to Election Day, she wanted to avoid “some k ind of political gotcha.”

Mr. Giuliani did not pull any punches.

“All of their misrepresentation about what happened in Libya is astounding,” he said of the administration. “There's no reason for 10 days of what appeared to be total misrepresentations - it creates a situation were America looks weak, it creates a situation where the American people don't have confidence. And it emboldens our enemies when they see that we're not able to face reality.”

Mr. Giuliani, who also described the president as “a real failure in the Middle East,” said that Mr. Romney would have handled the situation differently. (On the campaign trail, however, Mr. Romney has not explained in any detail how he would have dealt with the attacks, instead calling for further investigation.)

“Under a Romney administration, he will from the very moment of something like this - as a policy I followed on Sept. 11 - tell the truth to the American people,” Mr. Giuliani said. “I would advise anyone in that position, you've got to be truthful from the very, very beginning. You can't participate in all of these cover-ups, all of these misrepresentations. Governor Romney is a leader by nature, and Governor Romney understands that.”