Skip to comments.Obama to Jon Stewart: Benghazi response "not optimal"
Posted on 10/19/2012 10:51:01 AM PDT by LurkedLongEnough
Stewart told the president, in regard to the administration's performance in the aftermath of the attacks, that "I would say and even you would admit it was not the optimal response - at least to the American people as far as all of us being on the same page."
"Here is what I will say, if four Americans get killed it is not optimal," the president responded. "And we are going to fix it, all of it. And what happens during the course of a presidency, you know the government is a big operation at any given time, something screws up and you make sure you find out what's broken and you fix it."
The president's "optimal" comment seemed to be a reference to Stewart's characterization of the response, since he used the same word. Some, however, have taken the comment to mean the president was saying the deaths themselves were "not optimal."
The president continued in the interview: "And you know whatever else I have done throughout the course of my presidency, one thing that I've been absolutely clear about is America's security comes first and the American people need to know exactly how I make decisions when it comes to war, peace, national security and protecting Americans. And they will continue to get that over the next four years of my presidency."
When Stewart referenced "the perception that State was on a different page than you," noting that Susan Rice, the American ambassador to the United Nations, erroneously tied the attacks to protest over an anti-Islam video five days after they took place, the president interrupted him.
"John, the truth is that information comes in, folks put it out throughout the process, people say it is still incomplete," he said. "What I was always clear about was we are going to do an investigation and figure out what happened."
Asked what caused the confusion over the attack, the president responded: "Well, we weren't confused about the fact that four Americans had been killed, I wasn't confused about the fact that we needed to ramp up diplomatic security around the world right after it happened, I wasn't confused about the fact that we had to investigate exactly what happened so it gets fixed and I wasn't confused about the fact that we were going to hunt down whoever did it and bring them to justice."
"So, as I said during the debate, nobody is more interested in figuring this out than I am," he said. "When a tragic event like this happens on the other side of the world immediately a whole bunch of intelligence starts coming in and you try to piece together exactly what happens. And what have always tried to do is just get all the facts figure out what went wrong and make sure it doesn't happen again and we're still in that process now. But every piece of information that we got as we got it we laid it out for the American people, and the picture eventually gets fully filled in and we know how to prevent it in the future..."
Stewart also asked whether the president had changed during four years in office and whether he still believes "we don't have to trade our values for our security."
"We don't, there's some things that we haven't gotten done, I still want to close Guantanamo, we haven't been able to get that done," Mr. Obama responded. "One of the things that we've got to do is put a legal architecture in place and we need congressional help to do that to make sure that not only am I reined in, but any president's reined in in terms of some of the decisions that we're making."
"Now there's some tough trade-offs, I mean there are times when there are bad folks somewhere on the other side of the world and you've got to make a call and it's not optimal," he continued. "When you look at our track record as to say we've ended the war in Iraq, we're winding down the war in Afghanistan we've gone after Al Qaeda and it's leadership, it's true that Al Qaeda is still active at least remnants of it are staging in North Africa and the Middle East, and sometimes you've got to make some tough calls, but you can do so that is consistent with international law and American law."
The title makes it seem like he said the response wasn’t optimal. He said four dead Americans wasn’t...
Dear Mr. President - you are what is broken, please fix yourself.
My son is not very optimal - he is very dead’: Mother of diplomat killed in Benghazi attack slams Obama’s comment on raid
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2220241/Barack-Obama-Benghazi-attack-Mother-diplomat-criticises-Presidents-optimal-comment.html#ixzz29li8PyWB
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He said what he said and they are trying to massage it.
"Can you say that louder Candy!"
Hey Barry! What is the optimal number of American deaths... 10, 20, 100?
There's so much other shinola the charlatan does which is way more concerning. Like telling the mother of one of the dead why and how her son died, which to this point I don't think she still doesn't knows the answer to!
Obama was responding to Stewart's term not his own!
Can’t get a single video link up. The Dailymail is a blank screen and other columns omit the video entirely. What’s up with that?
Was Obama just relating back to Stewart in the use of the word “optimal”, or was this actually dismissive of the four deaths.
Seriously, I doubt it is the latter. Obama may be a fool but he is not suicidal.
I think this looks a little goofy too, but I stll haven’t seen the video. Much ado about linguistics and we are not that desperate, are we?
Adj. 1. optimal - most desirable possible under a restriction expressed or implied; “an optimum return on capital”; “optimal concentration of a drug”
best - (superlative of `good’) having the most positive qualities; “the best film of the year”; “the best solution”; “the best time for planting”; “wore his best suit”
Sounds like a very impassionate description that represents in one word, this president’s presidency. Detached and removed.
No matter what the question was, it was an act of presidential incompetence to keep using the inappropriate word. No excuse. And . . . you can’t “fix” dead.
Sorry, but I won't give this lying, traitorous bastard an excuse for uttering the sentence, no matter what context he used it in. It never should have been said period.
I agree with Obama, 2 dead would have been optimal...
That’s like saying that if Americans get killed that it’s not the best thing that could happen. What would constitute a tragedy to Obama? Wonder what Zero and Michelle said when the towers came down? Does it take thousands or millions to die for Obama to label it a tragedy? Does he feel anything?
The fact that he went on a comedy show, and even discussed the death of four Americans is outrageous. If he had any sense of respect for the men and their families, he would have told the producers the topic was off the table. But he used the program as a political opportunity to boost himself in the polls. He’s already shown he doesn’t care what happened in Benghazi, when he flew off to Vegas the day after the attack for a big fundraiser. Obama is a cold-hearted, useless POS.
He just lies to hear himself talk. What rubbish, lying about making sure that he himself and other presidents can be “reined in” when he has been unprecedented in governing through executive order and has even demonstrated his true instincts by talking about how he has to “go around” Congress to do what he wants with no opposition.
What kind of two bit coward goes on comedy shows to explain the attack and murder of American citizens on the anniversary of 9/11? Obama went on Letterman and the Daily Show. I’m sure the mothers of the dead Americans are please that a comedy show was the chosen format...
I can’t wait for the next debate - to see how the next liberal elite assh*le defends Obama. I guess we’re lucky the corrupt commission that chose the biased moderators didn’t choose Letterman to moderate. Maybe in four years they’ll turn the farce into a comedy format...
Thx for the info on the link. Conversationally speaking, and not yet seeing the video here, the text version implies that Obama was throwing the word back at Stewart to emphasize the absurd.
He used it so out of context with the question that, yes, we can get some mileage out of it, if one chooses to go in that direction.
How do you “Fix” 4 dead Americans - you can’t. O needs to go.