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September 13th, 2012
10:19 PM ET

Ric Grenell on the Obama adminstration's reaction to the attacks in Libya: "When the White House is silent, that's a weak message"

On Thursday, CNN's Wolf Blitzer once again returned to "Piers Morgan Tonight" as guest host, filling in while his British colleague remains on assignment across the pond.

As news of additional deaths resulting from the assault on the American consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi were learned, Blitzer welcomed a panel of political and media insiders to evaluate reaction from both campaign parties.

With Mitt Romney calling the Obama adminstration's response "disgraceful," Blitzer asked Ben Smith if the Republican presidential nominee had made a strategic error.

"A lot of folks who work in that field in both parties...thought it was a mistake to go out and make a statement before the facts were clear," suggested the BuzzFeed Editor in Chief. "I think people were surprised he jumped out like that."

Joining Blitzer in the nation's capital, Ric Grenell saw it differently:

"I don't think you should be characterizing this as jumping out in front...First of all, if you are the president of the United States, you have to own up to the fact of escalating and developing violence," said the former Romney foreign policy spokesman. "I think that we are missing one point here. When the White House is silent, that's a weak message. Silence and a lack of a message is really a problem. I think that's what Mitt Romney was saying."

Not necessarily denying Grenell's point, Smith closes with what could be deemed a back-handed compliment, or at the very least, a zinger:

"If only Rick were still Romney's spokeman. I think what Rick said just now made a lot of sense. It isn't exactly what Romney said."

Watch the clip, and listen to the interview, as Grenell and Smith further place recent campaign reactions into political context. Also, hear journalism professor Jeff Jarvis debate Google and YouTube's handling of the video which helped ignite the recent explosion of unrest.
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soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. max

    when Mr. Morgan is on, he attacks for the left and its sad, but tonight 9/13 with woft talking to the right, is like the right is the husband of a wife that drinks and spends to much money. he is trying to get her to see if she keeps this up they will go broke, and that she die. But the wife which is woof keeps telling the husband but look at all I do for you. saying didn't I do this right? you can see in this man faces as he looks off to say what did you get me in to here. this is a nut, not some one asking questions for I can say what I'm trying to say here. how sad they have blame this whole thing on Mitt and did ever thing they can to say its not Obama to blame, screaming we love him don't blame him.

    September 14, 2012 at 12:43 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Yesenia J

    Also the media is trying to on focus from the real truth about Lybia about the weak actions of President Obama and blaming Mitt!!!! Seriously!!!! Come on

    September 14, 2012 at 12:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Maria

    I just watched this discussion on the show tonight and find both CNN and Wolf Blitzer disgraceful.

    Wolf Blitzer brought up the issue of Mitt Romney's comments over and over and over and over. Are we REALLY supposed to care more about whether a presidential candidate made a timely criticism of a president's policies than the SUBSTANCE of what's behind the statement – i.e. the policy itself? Similarly, are we REALLY supposed to be more upset and concerned about a stupid video than we are about acts of MURDER supposedly related to that stupid video?

    This country is absolutely doomed if we allow our sense of priorities and how we think about things to be led by media writers, editors and commentators who care more about making politically correct sound bites than actually investigating and reporting on important, substantive issues.

    September 14, 2012 at 1:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. KMS

    Wolf Blitzer n CNN have become so bias that I can not even watch that network anymore u can look at the comment from Ric how they leave out how he said that 15hrs is not jumping out n the Pres came out after Romney n said he didnt agree with the statement.I would like to know why ur not questioning the Pres policies in the middleeast n how there is a report that the officials were aware of the attack 48hrs prior to it.The. American people can not get fair n honest media coverage this is the worst I have ever seen it.Also if a Rep would have gone out fundraising n campaigning during this crisis he would have been destroyed in the media missing intel meetings n saying Egypt is not an ally I am an independent n the coverage of events makes me sick with all the media bias

    September 14, 2012 at 2:22 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Marsha

    I'm glad Romney spoke up. He did the right thing. Hilary still sounds like she is apologizing. Why is know one asking on 9-11 they didn't have extra protection

    September 14, 2012 at 3:54 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. AndrewSharp

    They tried to claim the video on YouTube should not be deleted because of "free speech" but they are truly misinformed. The video remains on YouTube because Google refuses to delete it because it meets their "community guidelines". It has nothing to do with free speech. Google routinely deletes videos that show two men in a passionate kiss or embrace because they say such videos do not meet their community guidelines. I have had several videos deleted by YouTube for this very reason.

    Google wants to continue this fake crusade in the name of free speech because they support Internet piracy by hosting thousands of piracy blogs on their Blogger site that they fear will be regulated if copyright laws like SOPA and PIPA were to be passed.

    This company has moved thousands of jobs and billions of dollars over seas to avoid paying US taxes and they think this 13 minute ahort that they have blocked to IPs in the middle east must remain online in the name of American free speech. If Google is so patriotic they can bring their billions of dollars stashed overseas home to the US and pay taxes along with bringing thousands of jobs back home.

    Put your money where your mouth is Google. Of you're so patriotic you must protect our Free Speech by keeping this turd online then bring your cash home and stop avoiding paying tax.

    September 14, 2012 at 4:01 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nancy

      No wonder Google is on its way out Bing will be talking over.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. ArcPlitic

    At least Romney said SOMETHING!!!! Obama has been light handed around the world for 4 years. If Romney was President, or Bush, or Reagan this would not have happened because they know America will not stand for it. Remember, Carter tried "negotiating" with these people while they help Americans captive for over a year. Two days after Reagan was sworn in Iran let them all go. The international area is a "State of Nature" and needs to be approached as such. If you do not have balls, they will take everything from you. We need a President that has a foreign policy agency and stance, not one that flows with the waves.

    September 14, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Karen

      "so light-handed the last 4 years"??? Are you nuts? Um, what about getting BinLaden – the mastermind behind 9/11?

      September 14, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • kay

      Maybe you forgot Iran-Contra and Beirut,Lebanon (suicide bomber) happened on Reagan's watch.

      September 14, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. george

    No military service for any of the 6 Romney men..what are they afraid of ? and the income tax returns? what is he afraid of ?? Romney must have tax shelters in 6 countries...then WHY should he be our Pres ?...

    September 15, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Home personal training

    I think we should get all the facts before we make a statement.However we should have seen this happening and gave
    them the support they needed.For that i blame Obama!

    April 10, 2014 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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