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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT for October 18, 2012 - Part 1

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 3:21pm
Lou Dobbs, Lis WiehlAssociated Press

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<Show: LOU DOBBS TONIGHT>

<Date: October 18, 2012>

<Time: 19:00:00>

<Tran: 101801cb.229>

<Type: Show>

<Head: LOU DOBBS TONIGHT for October 18, 2012 - Part 1>

<Sect: News; Domestic>

<Byline: Lou Dobbs, Lis Wiehl>

<Guest: John Lonski, Bay Buchanan, Mike Singh, Louie Gohmert, Brad

Blakeman>

<Spec: Politics; Libya; Business>

LOU DOBBS, HOST: Good evening, everybody. The president's campaign team, his allies on Capitol Hill and much of the national liberal media today defended his surprising debate night assertion that the day after it occurred, he had called the Benghazi attacks terrorism. Senators John Kerry and Jack Reed, Maryland governor O'Malley, White House spokesman Jay Carney, campaign staffers Robert Gibbs and Jen Psaki all defended the president's erroneous statement.

This ongoing Benghazi controversy has been a series of false statements, position reversals, finger-pointing since day.

Tuesday, September 11 in Benghazi, terrorists attacked the U.S. consulate, where they killed four Americans, including our ambassador, Christopher Stevens. In the nearly six weeks that have followed, the president has refused to tell the American people what happened and why, what his administrations is doing about it and what effect the Benghazi attacks will have on our foreign policy in the region.

President Obama and his inner circle have changed their stories and tried to rewrite the narrative of Benghazi even as it unfolded. The day after those attacks, the administration focus was clearly on an amateurish anti-Muslim Internet 14-minute-long video as the cause of the tragedy. And the secretary of state made no reference of any kind to it as a terrorist attack.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: America's commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear. There is no justification for this. None.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: Then, only 40 minutes later, the president made a hastily arranged appearance in the Rose Garden where he talked for five minutes, much of that time taken up with his comments about his attendance to September 11 memorial duties, his visit to Arlington and to our wounded warriors. And he talked about those who serve our nation around the world. And then he said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve this great nation, alter that character or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: Those remarks preceded by a reference to September 11 on the 11th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on American soil. At that point, according to sources within the State Department and the Pentagon, the Obama administration already knew that those attacks had been acts of terrorism with ties to al Qaeda, the terrorists had -- well, attacked our consulate and the ambassador's safe house.

Within the next few hours, the president was to sit down with "60 Minutes" and to defend his backing of what is called the Arab spring.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have recent events in the Middle East given you any pause about your support for the governments that have come to power following the Arab spring?

OBAMA: I think it was absolutely the right thing for us to do to align ourselves with democracy, universal rights, a notion that people have to be able to participate in their own governance. But I was pretty certain and continue to be pretty certain that there are going to be bumps in the road.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: That "60 Minutes" interview taken on the 12th of September. His now claimed (ph) statement that Benghazi was a terrorist act didn't stop the president from hopping on Air Force One and then flying off to a campaign fund-raiser in Las Vegas later that very night.

FOX News already at that point had sources pointing to al Qaeda involvement. And we were not alone. CBS reported that night, as well, that Benghazi was a terrorist strike timed to the anniversary of September 11. Around 9:00 o'clock that evening, the president opened his Nevada appearance with a mention of the attack before spending the rest of the evening campaigning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I want to begin tonight by just saying a few words about a tough day that we had today. You know, we -- we lost four Americans last night who were killed when they were attacked at a diplomatic post in Libya. They were serving overseas on our behalf. Now, because Nevada is a battleground state, you are aware that we've got an election going on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: The following day, the State Department began fielding questions about security on the ground in Libya.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VICTORIA NULAND, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN: We did evaluate the threat stream and we determined that the security at Benghazi was appropriate for what we knew.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: And Secretary of State Clinton continued to tie the anti-Islam video, the fabricated demonstrations to those attacks and murders in Benghazi.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: There is no justification, none at all, for responding to this video with violence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: September 14th, White House press secretary Jay Carney insists that the attack was spurred by the Internet video, the fabricated demonstrations, and he insisted it was a spontaneous attack with nothing at all to do with terrorism.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: These protests were in reaction to a video that had spread to the region. We have no information to suggest that it was pre-planned attack. It is not a reaction to the 9/11 anniversary that we know...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: The bodies of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans greeted by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton at Andrews Air Force Base later that morning. The secretary of state -- she repeated the false claims, claims that sources tell us the Obama administration already knew to be false.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: We've seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with. It is hard for the American people to make sense of that because it is senseless.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: The White House hasn't explained why, if the president had truly said Benghazi was a terrorist act the day afterwards in the Rose Garden -- why they would dispatch on Sunday, the 16th of September, our ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, to appear on five Sunday talk shows. Here she repeats the false information that the Benghazi attack was spontaneous and born of a video protest.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUSAN RICE, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: The information -- the best information and the best assessment we have today is that, in fact, this was not pre-planned, premeditated attack, that what happened initially was -- it was a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo as a consequence of the video.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: The following day, FOX News correspondent James Rosen questioned State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, who refuses to acknowledge whether or not the Obama administration had enough information to know what happened. Again, we know that her subsequent statements were incorrect based on testimony before the House Oversight Committee.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES ROSEN, FOX CORRESPONDENT: Simply on the basis of what Ambassador Rice has publicly disclosed, does the United States government regard what happened in Benghazi as an act of terror?

NULAND: Again, I'm not going to put labels on this until we have a complete investigation, OK?

ROSEN: So you don't regard it as an act of terrorism?

NULAND: I don't think we know enough. I don't think we know enough.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: The day after that, September 18th, the president continues to avoid the White House press corps, but he does participate in another round of hard-hitting discussions, this one with David Letterman, telling him the video is responsible for the attack.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW": Is this an act of war? Are we at war now?

OBAMA: No.

LETTERMAN: What happens here?

OBAMA: Well, here's what happened. You had a video that was released by somebody who lives here, sort of a shadowy character, who has an extremely offensive video directed at Mohammed and Islam and...

LETTERMAN: Making fun of the Prophet Mohammed.

OBAMA: Making fun of the Prophet Mohammed. And so this caused great offense in much of the Muslim world...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: The next day, on September 19th, the head of the National Counterterrorism Center, Matthew Olsen, broke from the White House with his testimony on Capitol Hill.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (I-CT): Let me begin by asking you whether you would say that Ambassador Stevens and the three other Americans died as a result of a terrorist attack.

MATTHEW OLSEN, NATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER: Certainly, on that particular question, I would say yes, they were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: That testimony conforms to the fact that the State Department and other in our -- and others in our government had been, in fact, monitoring the events on the ground in real time in Benghazi. The video on your screen right now shot by Reuters from a different vantage point, but giving us a picture much the same as what the State Department was seeing at that very moment in real time as those four Americans were killed.

The next day, White House press secretary Jay Carney starts telling a somewhat different story. The press spokesman tells the White House press corps aboard Air Force One that it's, quote, "self-evident" that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack. Suddenly, it was self- evident, and suddenly, it was a terrorist attack.

But later that day, President Obama again hedges on Carney's words during an interview with Univision.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We have reports that the White House said today that the attacks in Libya were a terrorist attack.

OBAMA: We're still doing an investigation, and there are going to be different circumstances in different countries. And so I don't want to speak to something until we have all the information.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)

OBAMA: Well, we don't know yet. And so we're going to continue to investigate this...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: The very next day, Secretary of State Clinton states unequivocally that the events in Benghazi were a terrorist attack, something the administration had known nearly two weeks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: What happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack, and we will not rest until we have tracked down and brought to justice the terrorists who murdered four Americans.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: Three days later, President Obama still hedging, even though his top diplomat has already revealed the true nature of the attacks. The president sits down with his friends on "The View."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOY BEHAR, "THE VIEW": I heard Hillary Clinton say that it was an act of terrorism. Is it? What do you say?

OBAMA: Well, we're still doing an investigation. There's no doubt that the kind of weapons that were used, the ongoing assault, that it wasn't just a mob action.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: The reversals continue a day later, in front of the United Nations General Assembly this time, President Obama reverting back to the anti-Islam video story, mentioning the video, in fact, six times.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: There is no speech that justifies mindless violence.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents. There's no video that justifies an attack on an embassy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: September 27th, two days later, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta breaks with the administration, breaks with the president's claims and instead, Defense Secretary Panetta echoes Secretary Clinton's statements, not the president's.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEON PANETTA, DEFENSE SECRETARY: The reason I think pretty clearly it was a terrorist attack is because a group of terrorists obviously conducted that attack on the consulate and against our individuals. What terrorists were involved I think still remains to be determined by the investigation. But it clearly was a group of terrorists who conducted that attack against that facility.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: The president's people start calling Benghazi almost immediately now an act of terror after FOX News and the DailyBeast's Eli Lake reported that they had information the day after the attack. The president himself? He still has not addressed the American public to explain what happened and why on September 11, no matter what version of history the administration is now trying to sell.

Well, President Obama today made an appearance on "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart, another hard-hitting evening of questions and answers. The topic of Libya came up, and in response to a question by Stewart about communication between the White House, State Department and other government agencies, President Obama said, quote, "If four Americans get killed, it is not optimal."

We'll have much more ahead on the Benghazi terrorist attack, the assertions, the statements, the reversals from the White House. We'll be talking with former National Security Council Mideast affairs director Mike Singh and House Judiciary Committee member Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas.

We also want to know what you think about the president's evolving story on Benghazi. We'd like you to vote in our on-line poll. There is nothing scientific about this process, but it will give us all some sense what one another is thinking as you respond to the question. Do believe President Obama lied to the American people when he said he declared the Benghazi attacks an act of terror on September 12th? We'd like you to go to our Facebook page, Facebook.com/loudobbstonight, and cast your vote. We're going to have the results at the end of tonight's broadcast.

There's some very big reasons President Obama didn't want to answer the governor's question.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R-MA), FMR. GOV., PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Mr. President, have you looked at your pension? Have you looked at your pension?

OBAMA: I've got to say...

ROMNEY: Mr. President, have you looked at your pension?

OBAMA: You know, I don't -- I don't look at my pension. It's not as big as yours, so it doesn't take as long.

(LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: Well, let -- let me -- let me give -- let me give you some advice.

OBAMA: I don't check it that often.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: And we'll tell you what we found.

It's the single biggest cost in the federal budget. It's risen a third in the past four years. And that trillion dollars of your tax dollars is making the fiscal cliff even steeper.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: In tonight's "Tech Connect," Google shares today plunged 8 percent after Google disappointed on earnings targets, and at the same time, their earnings were released prematurely, accidentally released, and the mistake that forced NASDAQ to a temporary halt -- temporarily halt trading in the share of Google was blamed on human error at the company that prints Google's financial documents, R.R. Donnelly.

Google reported a 20 percent drop in profits because of a slowdown in its advertising margins. Donnelly's stock, by the way, down about 1 percent because of its mistake. Google's earnings and concerns about poor earnings from other big-name companies dragging the market lower, the Dow closing down 8 points, the S&P down 3.5, the tech-heavy NASDAQ down 31 points.

Microsoft shares down in after-hours trading after reporting earnings that were about in line with targets but missed their revenue.

And in economic news, weekly jobless claims jumping 46,000, a four- month high of 388,000, but the Labor Department pointed to delayed figures. Remember all of the kerfuffle of last week when we reported that the Labor Department simply hadn't been able to get numbers from the state of California. We said one state, we think it's California. Now it's confirmed, it was California. By the way, a lot of the people at the Labor Department were denying all of that at the time. Well, it all catches up, doesn't it.

President Obama showing off his Chicago style of negotiation today, the same skills that have resulted in no budgets being passed while he's been. The president repeated his position that he'd rather drive the country off the fiscal cliff into recession rather than agree to an extension of the Bush tax cuts for those making above $250,000. Speaker of the House John Boehner confirmed that there have been absolutely no meetings on the tax increases and spending cuts known as sequestration since mid-summer, nor are any planned! This is rather dramatic, isn't it.

Well, 15 of the largest bank CEOs are also urging Washington to avoid the fiscal cliff. In a letter to the president and Congress, members of the Financial Services Forum warned that the consequences of inaction for stability in global financial markets, for economic growth, for millions of Americans still without work and for the financial circumstances of American businesses and households would be very grave!

Joining us now, John Lonski. He's chief economist for Moody's Capital Markets. John, I don't think you can say it much plainer than the Financial Services Forum put it to the president, who says, The hell with everybody, we're going to into recession if I don't get my way. I mean, is this...

JOHN LONSKI, MOODY'S CAPITAL MARKETS CHIEF ECONOMIST: Well, you know, it's statements like that are sending the president now over the polling cliff, you might say. This latest poll from Gallup was incredible...

DOBBS: Seven points.

LONSKI: Yes, 7 points, 52 percent for Romney, 45 percent for Obama. It seems as though he's digging himself deeper into a hole. Even the way he presented himself at the second debate, these references to (INAUDIBLE) blame lies on upper-income individuals for the problems this country has today. The average American voter really doesn't buy that.

DOBBS: Yes, it's interesting that the polls -- you know, it is possible that we're watching a campaign that is, if you will, imploding because there is no other rationalization that I can find for this president to suddenly be conducting himself, behaving this way, making declarations that he called Benghazi an act of terror!

We have looked over the transcript, as he suggested we all do. The moderator, Candy Crowley, acknowledging she made a mistake to affirm the president's statement -- it is -- it's terrible! And yet he insists that, you know, everything be damned, he's going to have his way.

Give us your sense -- at the same time, contemporaneously, we have got news that China's growth continues to slow all the way down to 7.4 percent, and still we have the EU summit going on right now. They're trying to make a decision about whether or not the euro zone survives and the euro exists. What are your thoughts? And what will be...

(CROSSTALK)

LONSKI: ... it's like "Groundhog Day" with the EU summit, they're having so many of these high-level meetings to, you know, try to resolve matters once and for all. And yet there's still a lot left to be done.

And I would add, too, that, you know, we have had these earnings reports from high-tech companies. That's mostly because of lower than expected revenues, and a lot of their problems perhaps are rooted in overseas sales.

DOBBS: And John Lonski, we're out of time. We've got one of those hard -- out (ph) commercials, and we're going to try to make it. Let's see if it happens. Thanks, John.

LONSKI: OK, thank you.

DOBBS: Up next: President Obama believes Governor Romney's "binders full of women" are somehow funny. Bay Buchanan will have an answer for him. She joins us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: A new congressional report finds government spending on welfare topped a trillion dollars last year, a 32 percent increase under President Obama. Federal spending on welfare made up nearly three quarters of the amount, while state spending reached $283 billion, making welfare the government's largest expenditure last year. Spending on food assistance programs with the biggest increase of more than 70 percent over the past four years.

Governor Romney has admitted a blind trust managing his money does have investments in China. It turns out he certainly is not the only one. You may remember this exchange during Tuesday's debate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Mr. President, have you looked at your pension? Have you looked at your pension?

OBAMA: I've got to say...

ROMNEY: Mr. President, have you looked at your pension?

OBAMA: You know, I don't -- I don't look at my pension. It's not as big as yours, so it doesn't take as long.

(LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: Well, let -- let me -- let me give -- let me give you some advice.

OBAMA: I don't check it that often.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: Well, the president didn't want to look at his pension or answer the governor's question for some obvious reasons. We -- we decided to check into it.

Not only is the president's public pension larger than Governor Romney's, the president also has investments in Chinese firms (INAUDIBLE) are you ready, a Cayman Islands trust! Let's take a look at some numbers. As president, he will receive almost $200,000 a year for life as soon as he leaves office! In addition to that, because he was a state senator in Illinois, his defined benefit pension plan is valued at between $50,000 and $100,000!

The general assembly retirement system in Illinois handling the president's state pension -- turns out they've got a lot of foreign investments, including -- you -- you guessed it! -- in Chinese companies, as well as a company with bio (ph) offices in 16 countries and organized as a limited partnership -- are ready? -- in the Cayman Islands! Oh, say it isn't so, Mr. President!

As for Governor Romney, he will not collect a penny from a public pension. He declined to take a salary as governor of Massachusetts. He accepted a symbolic $1 a year for his term in office. Talk about backfiring that little -- that little deal did on the president.

Recent polls reveal women voters are abandoning the president and abandoning him in significant numbers. We're going to take a look that poll and we're going to look at the Obama effort to declare a war on women (INAUDIBLE) behalf of the governor.

Joining us now to talk about the effort to win over women as a voting bloc in this country is Bay Buchanan, senior adviser to Governor Romney, former treasurer of the United States under President Reagan, also author of the book "Bay and Her Boys: Unexpected Lessons I Learned as a Single Mom." Those lessons we learn in parenting are usually unexpected aren't they Bay?

BAY BUCHANAN, SENIOR ADVISOR TO MITT ROMNEY: They sure are. And many of them unwanted, I might add.

DOBBS: Yes that happens too, but joy for nearly every moment.

BUCHANAN: Absolutely.

DOBBS: Let's -- let's turn to this war on women thing and I love this little mean they've got going because Governor Romney talked about a binder -- a binder full of women who were candidates for jobs in his administration. I can't believe that the left-wing adolescence and nastiness surrounding trying to make some big deal out of that.

BUCHANAN: It's absolutely amazing to me when I first started I looked at the person who asked me in the spin room do you think this is going to hurt the Governor? And I said what, what are you talking about? It was so clear what he meant. How could you even think that there was something that -- that you would try to make something out of? I thought the story was a very powerful story as the Governor told.

Look -- I look, I didn't -- I didn't have enough -- women representatives so I reached out to get some women, get some recommendations from people.

DOBBS: Sure.

BUCHANAN: And so that I can make certain that that I have their perspective on thing around that cabinet table in my administration. I thought it was wonderful. He's truly Lou, someone who -- who values women, their opinions and their expertise and he wants them there around the table as opposed of just talking about it.

DOBBS: Well the fact of the matter is that, I mean, let's be honest every time the left uses that they're going to be reminded that Governor Romney was bringing women into his administration. It one of the dumbest stunts, it's a little -- it reminds me of the adolescent boomerang of their going after Big Bird statements.

Every time they bring it up it reminds people that we're spending $450 million a year on public television and for what? I mean it really is -- it's crazy.

BUCHANAN: And there's these issues -- Lou there's issues -- these things they're raising are so little. This is the President of United States talking to the American people someone who's had four years in office. During which time for -- what is it close to -- over a half a million women have lost their jobs.

They understand the terrible problems, they see that their kids can't get jobs. And he's talking about Big Bird and the word binder full, I mean, what in the world -- he has no explanation for these failed four years and all of the suffering American are doing.

DOBBS: We're putting up the screen right now the female economy, 5.5 million women unemployed under this president, 450,000 more unemployed since 2009; 16 percent of women living in poverty as of last year. You know, we all -- start dissecting this stuff in creating quote, unquote "women's issues" is in my opinion, these are American issues and we've got to get on top of them.

Bay Buchanan it's great to have you here. Good to see you, come back soon.

BUCHANAN: Great to see you. Thanks Lou.

DOBBS: Thanks Bay.

Women are one of the few demographic groups where the Romney campaign is closing the door. You know actually that's not true doing it with a lot of them that's just what the left said. We'll have a lot more on that with the "A-Team" next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: It's a little confusing right now on the Obama administration was it a terrorist attack, when was it a terrorist attack? Secretary of State Clinton decided to take some responsibility. The director of national intelligence well, when people are falling on their swords they are being stabbed in the back.

We'll be talking with Congressman Louie Gohmert, former national security council member Michael Singh next.

The ladies on "The View" have some funny ideas about lots of things but particularly about Mormons. Governor Romney's wife Ann handles all of it with ease and grace, yes including Whoopi Goldberg.

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