Candy Crowley, the moderator for the presidential debate on Tuesday night, fact checked comments made by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Romney said that President Barack Obama failed to describe the attack against the United States consulate in Benghazi as an “act of terror.”
During the debate, a voter present in the town hall forum asked Obama about the attack that took the lives of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three more Americans. The voter, who said that he was undecided about his vote, created a stir amongst the two candidates.
Romney answered the question and accused Obama of taking too long to label the attack as an “act of terror.” Romney said that it took days for Obama to issue his remarks. In actuality, Obama declared the incident an “act of terror” on September 12, when he made remarks about the attacks the day after they occurred.
“No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for,” Obama said from the Rose Garden. “Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America.”
As Romney was answering the question, Obama interrupted, telling the Republican to “get the transcript” of what he said. Romney insisted that he was correct and Crowley then said that Obama “did in fact” label the attack as an “act of terror.”
“He did in fact call it an ‘act of terror,’” Crowley said.
“Can you say that a little louder?” Obama asked.
Crowley went on to speak to Romney, referring to Obama, saying, “It did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea of there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correct about that.”
Crowley’s fact check, which occurred live, received praise and criticisms on Twitter almost immediately. When the debate ended, Crowley joined her colleagues at CNN, who asked her about the Libya remarks.
“I knew that the president had said ‘act of terror,’” Crowley said. “I heard it … [Romney] picked that one wrong fact.”
Crowley received criticisms from her critics who claimed that she ‘backtracked’ on the Libya fact check. She was interviewed by Soledad O’Brien on Wednesday and she said that there was no backtracking involved.
“…We got hung up on this, “Yes, he said. No, I didn’t. I said terror. You didn’t say terror.” And then there was this point they both kind of looked at me…And what I wanted to move this along…So I said, “He did say acts of terror, called it an act of terror. But Governor Romney, you are perfectly right that it took weeks for them to get past the tape.”