At the town hall presidential debate at Hofstra University, undecided voter Kerry Ladka asked President Obama about the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya. He asked the president about reports that the State Department refused requests for more security at the consulate in Benghazi prior to the attacks that killed four Americans.
In his answer, President Obama did not address specifically the security requests.
After the debate, however, the president spoke with Ladka off-camera. Tonight, Ladka joined On the Record to discuss what President Obama told him privately. Ladka said:
“He tried to explain that the reason he took so long between that initial announcement in the Rose Garden and about two weeks later when he formally announced it as an act of terrorism, [was] that he wanted to be deliberate, that he didn’t want to make a mistake based on misinformation.”
Ladka told Greta Van Susteren, “I think everyone knew it was a terrorist attack right from the beginning.”
Speaking about the story that the anti-Islamic film was to blame for the attack, Ladka said, “I can only speculate that it was to give himself [Obama] time to try and uncover the information he needed to uncover to find out who actually was responsible for these terrorist killings.”
He went on to say that he felt better about the president after he took personal responsibility for the State Department’s mistake in not providing the consulate with enhanced security.
He added, “I still feel it was a huge mistake by the State Department and ultimately the president that caused the deaths of four innocent American citizens.”