The Ed Show | November 21, 2012
>>> show." thanks for watching tonight. the witch hunt against u.n. ambassador susan ryice is falling apart. senators john mccain and lindsey graham have been accusing the obama administration of changing susan rice 's talking points, following the benghazi incident. they claim links to al qaeda were left out for political purposes. but on tuesday, their conspiracy theory was blown out of the water. the spokeswoman for the director of national intelligence told cnn the white house wasn't involved in removing the information on al qaeda . he said the intelligence community made the changes. in responding to this report, mccain admitted that he was wrong, but still took a shot at the white house . he said intelligence officials, quote, told us they did not know who made the changes. now we have to read the answers to our questions in the media. this latest episode is another reason why many of us are so suspicious of actions of this administration when it comes to the benghazi attack. meanwhile, his sidekick, lindsey graham , is going into full attack mode. senator graham wrote a letter to president obama on tuesday, saying that he's concerned. many questions remain unanswered on the benghazi attacks. he says the president has a duty to the american people to answer the basic questions surrounding the benghazi attack. so far, all of the right-wing conspiracy theories about the benghazi attack have been completely wrong. it's about time they dropped all of this nonsense and just went back to doing their jobs. let's bring in democratic consultant, tara doudel, and also with us tonight, daily beast contributor and political strategist, bob shrum . great to have both of you with us. bob, you first. i found senator graham's letter rather interesting. he implied that the obama administration is not assisting congress in the libya investigation. have they been stonewalling in any way? what do you think?
>> no, i don't think they've been stonewalling at all. look, john mccain is a bitter man who's never gotten over 2008 and attacks the president on almost anything. and lindsey graham is his mini me. what's going on here is that they had a theory, a conspiracy theory about libya . mitt romney tried to elaborate it in the second debate. he got slapped down. couldn't even talk about it in the third debate. the more we learn about this, the more we learn that this was a very standard procedure in terms of reaction. you put out there what you can put out there. you don't put out there things that would reveal sources and methods of intelligence or minimize the chances that you would catch someone. one of the things that's most disturbing about this, ed, once again, you have the republicans going after an african-american. we saw it with eric holder , we're seeing it with susan rice . it's the same old politics they've played since 1968 in the southern strong and it's not about national security , it's about politics.
>> well, let's throw in shirley sherrod's name, and also, there have been a number of others out there as well. tara , are mccain and graham not giving up on libya because they're afraid of getting primaried? are they trying to go hard right to keep people away from them?
>> well, i think this absolutely has 100% to do with politics. like you said earlier, ed, it is a political witch hunt . lindsey graham is definitely probable going to face a primary challenge. so he's trying to burnish his conservative credentials. and also, i want to add that this was never about susan rice . this is 100% about president barack obama . this is an attack on him. they weren't able to get him during this campaign. they threw everything at him, including the kitchen sink . and he still came out victorious. his approval ratings are going up. and like jim demint said, he said he wanted to break president obama . i believe this to be part of an ongoing strategy to try to do that.
>> a number of people have said that these attacks on susan rice are racially motivated. senator graham responded to this earlier today. here it is.
>> they say that you and john mccain are sexist and racist as well for criticizing ambassador rice.
>> well, when you can't answer the question, you attack the questioner. the only color i'm worried about when it comes to benghazi is red, blood red . the death of four americans.
>> bob, what about that? what's your response, to the way graham is handling that?
>> first of all, they have answered all the questions. all you have to do is listen to dianne feinstein , the responsible people who have gone to these hearings. john mccain didn't even bother to go to a briefing to he could hold a news conference complaining about this. but mitt romney through the campaign denied that the welfare attack was racist. john sununu denied that he was being racist, when he said that colin powell had only endorsed the president because of race. you know, these republicans, since the campaign, have said they're going to rethink who they are and where they're going to go. well, a republican party whose future is its own race baiting past has no future in america. not only with african-americans, but with latinos, with asian americans , and frankly, with the mainstream of america. these guys ought to focus on the problems that this country faces right now in terms of the fiscal cliff, in terms of the middle east , and not try, and i think it's exactly right to say this, not try to drag the president, not just susan rice , but the president through the mud again. it failed in the campaign. it won't work now.
>> and where does susan rice go are from here? does this hurt her position of possibly being nominated, tara , for secretary of state? i mean, is she damaged goods, politically, so to speak?
>> well, obviously, this doesn't help susan rice . and i think that that's really sad, that a woman with her credentials and her qualifications is having her name dragged through the mud over a political fight based on them wanting to attack the president. i do think the president will stand strong and if he wants to appoint her to something, i think he's going to stand strong. i think it's important for democrats to expose what's really going on here and to continue to expose it, so people know that this is not about benghazi and the fact that people did die and there should be justice served. but this is raw, pure politics. and i think that's why we have to continue to speak out and continue to highlight the hypocrisy here, especially on the part of john mccain and lindsey graham , who went condoleezza rice got bad intelligence, they rushed to her defense, and said, don't rush to judgment on this. and now all of a sudden they want to rush to judgment without hearing any of the facts. . and the bottom line here is that she wasn't even responsible for the security of that embassy.
>> tara , great to have you with us. bob shrum , appreciate your time tonight.
>> happy turkey day .
>> that's exactly what it's going to be. that and a lot of football.
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