‘This Is Really The Last Chance For America To Pass Judgment On The Obama Administration’

Romney: ‘This Is Really The Last Chance For America To Pass Judgment On The Obama Administration’

GOP officials from Alaska to Georgia seized on the president’s low approval ratings, which have overshadowed an election season in which roughly 60 percent of eligible voters are expected to stay home.

“This is really the last chance for America to pass judgment on the Obama administration and on its policies,” the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, said in a message echoed by Republicans across the country on the weekend.

The president has avoided the nation’s most competitive contests in recent weeks, but encouraged Democrats to reject Republican cynicism during a Sunday appearance with Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy.

“Despite all the cynicism America is making progress,” Obama said, imploring Democrats to vote on Tuesday. “Don’t stay home. Don’t let somebody else choose your future for you.”

While the elections will determine winners in all 435 House districts and in 36 governors’ seats, the national focus is on the Senate, where Republicans need to net six seats to control the majority in the Congress that convenes in January. The GOP already controls the House, and a Senate takeover could dramatically change Obama’s last two years in office.

Republicans appear certain of picking up at least three Senate seats — in West Virginia, Montana and South Dakota. Nine other Senate contests are considered competitive, six of them for seats in Democratic hands.

Democratic Party leaders are predicting victory despite disappointing polls.

“I’m very proud of this president,” head of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said. “I think we’re going to win the Senate.”

In New Hampshire, former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton headlined a rally for Gov. Maggie Hassan and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat locked in a tough re-election battle against former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown.

Clinton, who is weighing a 2016 presidential bid, charged that Republicans are running a campaign of fear.

“Fear is the last resort for those who have run out of ideas and hope,” she said in her first appearance in New Hampshire since October 2008.

And in Georgia, where Democrats see an opportunity to gain a seat in traditionally GOP territory, Republican David Perdue repeatedly called Democrat Michelle Nunn a “rubber stamp” for Obama during a Sunday debate.

Nunn mockingly told Perdue he sounds like he’s “running against the president.”

“You’re running against me, David,” Nunn said.

In Colorado, Democratic Sen. Mark Udall’s best hope remains a robust ground game. He made four stops at campaign offices to fire up door-knockers, reminding them, in classic Colorado fashion, to knock on doors before the Broncos game.

“We’re going to bring this one home in the next 72 hours,” Udall said in the suburb of Centennial, telling volunteers to disregard polls that find him narrowly trailing Republican Rep. Cory Gardner.

While the campaigns’ costly voter turnout operations were in full swing, large percentages of younger voters and minorities — groups that typically support Democrats — are expected to sit out the elections altogether.

None of the last four midterm elections drew more than 38 percent of the voting-age population.

Early voting has been strong, however.

At least 16.7 million people have voted so far across 31 states, according to early voting data monitored by The Associated Press. Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Utah already surpassed their 2010 advance totals; party registration is divided about equally among those who have already cast ballots.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell cited encouraging polls as he campaigned across Kentucky, where he’s trying to hold off a challenge from Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.

“We expect to win,” McConnell said after riding in a Veterans Day Parade. “This election is largely a referendum on the president of the United States. Most people in my state and I hope around the country believe we need to go in a different direction.”

The final Sunday before the election was bringing out big names, including some who aren’t on the ballot now but could be in 2016.

While Clinton and Obama were on the trail, Vice President Joe Biden campaigned with Florida Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist, who’s trying to unseat Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

“Stand up and show it! Speak up! Vote!” Biden said at a Florida International University event aimed at Hispanic voters.

On the Republican side, former Gov. Jeb Bush, another 2016 primary prospect, campaigned with Scott.

Romney, who reiterated on Sunday that he would not make a third White House run, was campaigning in Alaska with Senate candidate Dan Sullivan and Gov. Sean Parnell.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is expected to enter the 2016 Republican presidential primary, made stops in South Carolina, Illinois, Maryland and Pennsylvania. And Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was campaigning in Kentucky.

Wasserman Schultz appeared on ABC’s “This Week,” while Romney was interviewed on “Fox News Sunday.”

Benghazi: Why it matters more than ever after Obama’s most blatant lie.

Inhofe rips ‘outrageous lie’ on Benghazi

By Rebecca Shabad

 

Getty Images

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) on Monday said President Obama lied about the terrorist attack in Benghazi during an interview that aired before the Super Bowl.

Inhofe said the 2012 terrorist attack in Libya will “go down in history as the greatest cover-up,” and slammed Obama for claiming it was thoroughly investigated.

“It’s just an outrageous lie. It’s kind of hard to call it anything else. It’s kind of like ObamaCare and the things he said in the beginning and now he’s denying it,” Inhofe said during a radio interview on 1170 KFAQ’s “The Pat Campbell Show,” which based in Tulsa, Okla.

The 2012 attack on an American compound in Benghazi was staged on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Republicans argue the administration falsely claimed that the attack was a protest gone wrong in the immediate aftermath to try and protect the president.

Fox host Bill O’Reilly told Obama in the interview that “your detractors” believe the administration spun the narrative on the Benghazi attack for political reasons.

“They believe it because folks like you are telling them,” Obama responded, adding it took intelligence officials a while to confirm what had happened.

“What I am saying is ‘that is inaccurate.’ We revealed to the American people exactly what we understood at the time,” Obama said.

Inhofe said Monday he “applauds[s]” O’Reilly for pressing him on Benghazi, and that Fox News is the only station that “isn’t virtually owned” by Obama.

“I will say this till my dying day, I know people don’t realize it now, that’s going to go down in history as the greatest cover-up. And I’m talking about the Pentagon Papers, Iran-Contra, Watergate and the rest of them,” Inhofe said.

NY Times’ whitewash of Benghazi attack aids Hillary Clinton in 2016.

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NY Times’ whitewash of Benghazi attack aids Hillary Clinton in 2016 

By Ben Wolfgang

The Washington Times

Sunday, December 29, 2013

One of the biggest hurdles in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s potential path to the White House may have become easier to clear.

An extensive report Sunday in The New York Times casts doubt on Republican claims that al Qaeda played a key role in last year’s deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. The article lends badly needed credence to the White House version of events and might remove some of the blame from the former secretary of state’s shoulders as she gears up for a 2016 presidential run.

A top House Republican went so far Sunday as to suggest that there may be a coordinated effort to help Mrs. Clinton — who is widely thought to be seeking the Democratic presidential nomination and leads her Republican counterparts in most polls — escape the shadow of Benghazi.

“I find the timing odd,” Rep. Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said of The New York Times piece and its political ramifications during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

Although he wouldn’t go much further, Mr. Rogers said, “I find it interesting that there is this rollout of stories” related to Benghazi.

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The New York Times report says al Qaeda did not infiltrate Benghazi and backed up the initial White House claim that the event largely was spontaneous, wasn’t planned by al Qaeda’s central leaders and was fueled at least in part by outrage over anti-Islamic videos produced in the U.S.

The piece makes clear that the facts on the ground in Benghazi were murkier than what has been portrayed by both sides, and that neither Republicans’ nor the administration’s account is entirely accurate.

Democrats quickly used the report to dispute Mr. RogersRep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and others who have cited Benghazi as evidence that President Obama has not dismantled al Qaeda to the degree he claimed en route to winning re-election last year.

“I hope Chairman Issa and others have learned a lesson from this. Chairman Issa and members of that committee crusaded for over a year on what was really a fairy tale, claiming that the administration knew all along al Qaeda was involved and wouldn’t admit it,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro, Texas Democrat and a member of the House Armed Services CommitteeMr. Castro appeared on NBC’s“Meet the Press” on Sunday.

As secretary of state at the time of the assault that claimed the lives of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, Mrs. Clinton has been a key target of Republicans who accuse the administration of failing to secure American assets and personnel in Benghazi and willfully hiding the truth for their own political benefit.

The reporting, to some degree, could shield Mrs. Clinton from charges that she participated in what critics have called a cover-up.

While not targeting Mrs. Clinton by name, Republicans on Sunday said parts of the article conflict directly with information in other reports and the sworn testimony of Americans on the ground in Benghazi.

“People from this administration, career professionals, have said under oath there was no evidence of any kind of reaction to a video and, in fact, this was a planned attack that came quickly. That’s the evidence we have,” Mr. Issa said on “Meet the Press,” referring to testimony from U.S. diplomats who described the anti-Islamic video as a nonevent in Libya at the time.

Other Republicans also disputed the notion that al Qaeda wasn’t involved. They noted that terrorist groups with clear connections to al Qaeda took part in the assault.

Even some lawmakers sympathetic to the administration say it’s misleading to suggest that al Qaeda had nothing to do with the incident.

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Intelligence indicates al Qaeda was involved,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff, California Democrat and a member of the House intelligence committee.

Despite the latest report, Mr. Schiff said, he does not believe the State Department and Mrs. Clinton specifically are entirely absolved.

“I don’t think The New York Times report is designed to exonerate the security lapses within the State Department that left our people vulnerable,” he said in an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.”