Peter King: Here's How to Get Obama Flustered About Libya

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 16 2012 6:50 PM

Peter King: Here's How to Get Obama Flustered About Libya

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HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- The campus of Hofstra University has been divided into large, confusing sectors, with the rambunctious student population waving ironic signs at one end and the media at the other. A tent sponsored by Anheuser-Busch provides free food and drinks to reporters, including three experimental brands of Bud, enjoyed by reporters and campaign flacks alike. Alan Simpson is led around like a wise man, fawned over by reps from the Commission on Presidential debates, handed business cards by hangers on.

I set up in the main media room and see Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security committee, who elevates the Libya story -- as he elevates all foreign policy stories -- by calling for Susan Rice to resign. I ask him how Barack Obama might try and deal with the issue.

"I think he's gonna look very authoritative and say, 'no one wants to get to the bottom of this more than I do," suggested King. "'Mistakes were made, but we were doing the best we could do at the time. There's always confusion, but I'm going to do what I can to get the perpetrators of this act the way we got bin Laden.'" And what would King say? "Well, I'd try to break it down. Wait a minute -- who told you there was a demonstration? When you say the intelligence people, who did you talk to? Did you have Sec. Clinton talk to people in the consulate? Maybe it's because you don't take your intelligence briefings in person that you didn't know who to talk to? And doesn't this undermine the whole premise of your campaign?"

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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