Senior Obama campaign advisor David Plouffe said on Sunday that the decision to release the results of an investigation into the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya after the election was not political.
“An investigation like this is very important, we have to get it right,” he said, on NBC’s Meet the Press.
Critics have charged that the Obama administration deliberately misled the public about the nature of deadly assault on the diplomatic mission, which killed four Americans, by first labeling it a spontaneous outbreak of violence rather than a terrorist attack. Obama administration officials have said their statements evolved as they learned more about the nature of the attack.
When challenged over the president’s campaigning in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attack, Obama campaign senior adviser David Axelrod said the president acted appropriately.
"Everything was put in motion that he could put in motion," Axelrod said on Fox News Sunday. "Every conversation that needed to be had was being had between him and his top national security officials."
However, the administration’s explanation has come under fire from Republicans, including Mitt Romney, Rep. Paul Ryan and particularly campaign surrogates like Sen. John McCain, who has likened the Obama campaign’s response to Watergate.
“The politicization of this has been unprecedented,” Plouffe said. “We have to fully understand what happened here and take these lessons forward, to protect our diplomats.”
Matt Vasilogambros contributed