NOW with Alex Wagner | October 12, 2012
>>> the entire reason that this has become the, you know, political topic it is is because of mitt romney and paul ryan . it's a big part of their stump speech . and it's reckless and irresponsible.
>> obama deputy campaign manager stephanie cutter saying that the republican presidential ticket is the reason the american attack on benghazi libya has become a political issue. she promised the administration will get to the bottom of what happened.
>> absolutely not. you know the administration wouldn't be coming out and giving the facts and ensuring the american people knows what's going on, what intelligence is showing. this is an important piece of information, important piece of our history so that we can make sure it never happens again.
>> here now to discuss is msnbc's chris hayes , host of "up with chris hayes " for a segment we like to call up now. my friend, always good to see you.
>> great to be here.
>> when i call you my friend i mean it.
>> i'm not going to --
>> my favorite part of my friend, at one point he says i love my friend and proceeded to gut him. i love my friend, lied through his teeth.
>> i will kill you until you are dead and dead again.
>> all right. let's talk about how the white house is handling this libya question. obviously the stephanie cutter back and forth. we talked about the benghazi stuff last night, mitt romney coming out and saying president is doubling down on deceit or some version thereof. your assessment.
>> we should be clear about what is contested and what is agreed to and what are the various theories of what's wrong. what the problem is, right? what everyone agrees the first story that the american people were told by the administration about what happened in benghazi was wrong. it was not a riot set off by a youtube video that then overran a consulate.
>> which they admit.
>> everyone agrees. now the question is, did they just get bad intelligence, right? which is what joe biden said last night. this is what intelligence agencies told us. it turned out later it was a preplanned attack. were they essentially manipulating the story because it looked better for them if there was this who could have predicted riot as opposed to an al qaeda cell or al qaeda allied cell in libya pulled off an attack. that's one issue, right? what was channeled up through the chain of command in terms of intelligence reporting that administration knew and when did they level with the american people about what they knew.
>> i think that's an important last piece, when.
>> because, you know, very crass, seasoned political animal in me, says it's not surprising that a month later we're finding out about this and they didn't sort of expedite the -- i know you have issues about transparency and how much they can reveal as far as classified information , but look, you talk about exogenous events, derailing the president's campaign for re-election, foreign policy is something you can't control so to me it's not that surprising we're getting dribs and drabs of information because they would rather not talk about this --
>> if we weren't in the context of a political campaign we would be looking at this differently, we wouldn't be saying it's been a month and just now getting the facts. i think we have to acknowledge that. it is a good opening for team romney. they should absolutely be taking it. if i was working on their campaign i would be taking it. i'm not suggesting otherwise. but i am suggesting i think to stephanie's point, of course, the answers are important, of course the information is important, but i think we can't distance that from the fact that -- and they did also say that the intelligence they had with susan rice going on that first weekend she went out in the context of a political campaign five weeks out where the candidate who's got a real deficit on foreign policy and the president has a strength on foreign policy they're going to use this to try to undermine not just on foreign policy but honesty and trust worthiness.
>> the republicans were in recess, they came back out of recess to have hearings on it. the broader question we're going to talk about on the show tomorrow is this profound one about how much security should diplomats have. there is a tension between security and doing your job as a diplomat. part of doing your job as a diplomat is being out and talking to people. if you're constantly armored and covered and behind bare rack walls you can't do that. we'll talk to a former diplomat about how you calculate that.
>> i would be interested to know how the ryan budget and the vice president noted the $300 million into embassy security cuts would have affected or, you know, if you can map that out. it is definitely something that is going to be turned over and over again in the coming weeks. chris hayes , we're excited to hear more from you and your panel on it. chris will always have more on these topics in an intelligent and highly nuanced fashion on his show --
>> don't give me too much credit.
>> "up with chris hayes ".
>> at 8:00 a.m .
>> 8:00 a.m . baby. coming up, the important stuff, howard and i have had our baseball hats on the entire set. we have nat attitude. as capitol hill facing the fiscal cliff baseball fans in the beltway face another cliff, playoff elimination. must wins, walk-offs and