Don Lemon Calls Out The Romney Campaign For Lies About Embassy Attacks

CNN's Don Lemon took the Romney campaign to task for doubling down on their lies about the embassy attacks and their ridiculous claim that the Obama administration apologized to or sympathizes with the attackers. While I was glad to see yet another cable anchor take them to task for this latest lie, I have to wonder where Don Lemon has been, given the statement he made at the end of his "No Talking Points" segment here:

CNN's Don Lemon took the Romney campaign to task for doubling down on their lies about the embassy attacks and their ridiculous claim that the Obama administration apologized to or sympathizes with the attackers. While I was glad to see yet another cable anchor take them to task for this latest lie, I have to wonder where Don Lemon has been, given the statement he made at the end of his "No Talking Points" segment here:

LEMON: President and the secretary of state were front and center. The optics were in their favor and they knew it. And quite frankly, there was nothing the Romney campaign could do to counter. Yet in an odd contrast, before the ceremony had even ended, Mitt Romney took to the stage in Ohio to bash the very people who were paying tribute to the fallen. And from my perch here at the anchor desk and to many of you watching at home, you wrote me and told me it felt weird, uncomfortable and sad. How can a man in a campaign who throws around the word patriot so often get this one so wrong?

Don, if you don't know the answer to that question, I've got some recommended reading for you via Steve Benen -- Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XXXIV.

The Romney campaign has been doing their best to set a world's record for the number of lies told during their campaign and you're asking how the latest one happened? Really? Maybe they'd have been doing less lying if the media had been doing a better job of calling them on it from the start, instead of constantly either just ignoring the lies, or using weasel words and being unwilling to call a lie a lie for fear of being called biased, or impolite, or...gasp, liberal.

Full transcript below the fold.

LEMON: Time now for "no talking points."

Tonight, a rush to judgment, and then lying to cover it up. On Wednesday morning, we woke up to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: The White House has now confirmed the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, has been killed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: President Obama condemns the attack that killed four Americans in Libya.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: The violence there, and at the U.S. embassy in Cairo is being fueled by an anti-Muslim video made here in the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: U.S. marines being called in as enforcements at U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: And before most of us could wipe this week from our eyes, before we had even heard about the attacks and the deaths, the Romney campaign had already drafted a critical statement saying the Obama administration's first respond was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.

OK. Here's the problem with that. The Romney statement was sent to reporters just after 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday with the caveat it not be released until after midnight. It was sent before many of the facts were gathered. The statement is wrong because the Obama administrations official statement from the secretary of state released just before the Romney statement reads like this.

I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission in Benghazi today. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear there is never any justification for violent attacks of this kind.

Clinton's statement in no way apologizes nor sympathizes with the attackers. Anyone who tells you it did is lying. If you believe it did, you are misguided. Even a statement that was released earlier from the embassy in Cairo never sympathize nor apologize, yet in a following hours and days, instead of correcting course, the Romney campaign doubled down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's a terrible course for America to stand in an apology for our values.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: And in an effort to do damage control imagine this. They even contacted us, the media, to make their surrogates available to us and then proceeded to come on the air and blame the media and bash them for their own mistake.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: I gave you plenty of time. I asked you the question the first time, and then you went on and gave me three points. You are saying it could not wait, yes or no, it couldn't wait?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a silly question.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: There are no silly questions, Mr. Ambassador. And here is why.

In an effort to politicize the attacks and deaths of an American diplomat and three other heroes, Mr. Romney not only dealt a major blow to his campaign but had given his opponent a gift, the ability to politicize and even without trying by appearing to take the high road and just answering a reporter's silly question.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's a broader lesson to be learned here. You know, governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: President and the secretary of state were front and center. The optics were in their favor and they knew it. And quite frankly, there was nothing the Romney campaign could do to counter. Yet in an odd contrast, before the ceremony had even ended, Mitt Romney took to the stage in Ohio to bash the very people who were paying tribute to the fallen. And from my perch here at the anchor desk and to many of you watching at home, you wrote me and told me it felt weird, uncomfortable and sad. How can a man in a campaign who throws around the word patriot so often get this one so wrong?

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