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September 20th, 2012
03:12 PM ET

Clips From Last Night: Bob McDonnell and Jennifer Granholm on Mitt Romney; Fran Townsend on Libyan attack ties to al Qaeda

On Wednesday, Piers Morgan welcomed Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and former Governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm to share their thoughts on the current status of the Romney campaign.

In light of the leaked footage of Mitt Romney making unfavorable comments about the 47 percent of Americans who do not pay income tax, the Republican McDonnell voiced his continued support of Romney and infused hope for a GOP presidential win saying, "I'm not nearly that pessimistic at all."

"The independent voters really make up their mind oftentimes right near the end," said McDonnell. "It's margin of error, four points, things can change quickly and I think the independent voters still really haven't made up their minds yet."

The Democratic Granholm had a different opinion: "If this [Romney's comment] isn't the final straw, obviously he's got a couple of debates, three debates, to be able to resurrect himself. But I don't know what is [the last straw.]"

"I don't know how he [Romney] can diss half of the population," said Granholm about Romney's derogatory comments. "And it's not just dissing them. It was a condescending unbelievably insensitive way of insulting people by calling them all victims when nobody, as the President said, nobody wants to be a victim."

CNN national security contributor Fran Townsend also joined the program and spoke to Morgan about the recent news that al Qaeda has ties to the recent attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya which killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. "When I had been in Libya, in Tripoli, and met with Ambassador Stevens, he had acknowledged to me in a long conversation that in fact there was an increase of extremism in eastern Libya," said Townsend.

Townsend also noted unconfirmed reports that the leader who executed the attack was a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who was released back to Libya. "It's possible that Kumu, the guy who is one of the leaders of Ansar al-Shariah, that this is a splinter group from al Qaeda in eastern Libya related to al Qaeda and the Islamic Maghreb," said Townsend. "The director of the National Counter terrorism Center today testified that it was a terrorism attack. And if you're looking at terrorists in eastern Libya near Benghazi, he'd certainly be at the top of my list."

Watch the clips, and listen to the interviews, as Townsend discusses whether or not Stevens was properly protected while in Libya.
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Filed under: Clips From Last Night • The Big Story
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Smail

    Why is CNN always reminding us that Fran Townsend was traveling with her employer in Libya? Who cares whith whom was she traveling or who send her or financed her trip? realy puzeled !!

    September 24, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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