Posted by DrJohn on 11 May, 2013 at 3:52 pm. 3 comments already!


hillary bus

In October Jay Carney sought to insulate Obama and Biden from the Benghazi disaster.

The White House scrambled Friday to explain Vice President Biden’s confusing statement that “we weren’t told” of requests for more diplomatic security in Libya, claiming he was referring only to “himself” and President Obama.

Biden, during Thursday’s debate, had made the controversial statement in response to criticism from Paul Ryan about the protection of diplomatic posts in Libya in the run-up to the Sept. 11 terror attack.

Moderator Martha Raddatz pressed him: “And they wanted more security there.”

But Biden responded: “Well, we weren’t told they wanted more security there. We did not know they wanted more security again.”

The comment drew swift rebukes from Republicans who pointed out that State Department officials just one day earlier had acknowledged they knew about, and turned down, requests for more security. Ryan, minutes later in the debate, corrected the vice president, saying “there were requests for extra security; those requests were not honored.”

But White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Biden “wasn’t talking about the administration writ large,” just the White House.

“He was speaking directly for himself and for the president. He meant the White House,” Carney said. He claimed it was “very clear” in context, while continuing to accuse Republicans of twisting the tragedy into a “political attack.”

In doing so, Carney not only came to the defense of Biden, but used his clarification to effectively insulate the White House from questions about the decision-making process. While refusing to say whether Obama and Biden were ever briefed on the security requests in Benghazi, Carney made clear that decisions on personnel were handled below them, at the State Department level.

“These kinds of issues are handled in the State Department,” he said.

“What I’m saying is that matters of security personnel are appropriately discussed and decided upon at the State Department.”

Biden, though, was not explicit Thursday in saying he was only talking about his and Obama’s personal knowledge of the security requests.

Now Carney seems to be making preparations for the departure of the bus under which will be one Hillary Clinton.

Throw Hillary under the bus? In a statement to ABC, Carney notably insulates the West Wing and not the State Department by saying “the only edits made by anyone here at the White House were stylistic and nonsubstantive.” And, with no apparent regard to hypocrisy, Carney criticized the GOP for attempting to “politicize the talking points.”

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