At Tuesday night’s town hall debate, Mitt Romney inferred that President Obama did not initially refer to the September 11th attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi as an act of terror. CNN’s Candy Crowley, the debate’s moderator, instantly fact-checked Romney’s question, recalling that the President did, in fact, refer to the attack as an act of terror in his Rose Garden speech the following day.
Few debate moments are so tense and, frankly, mortifying to watch. “Mitt Romney was sort of hanging tough there,” said NBC’s Chuck Todd after the debate, “And then the Libya moment happened…At that point it seemed that Mitt Romney got rattled.”
“I think the point on Libya,” Rachel Maddow added, “was also in part about the apparent excitability of Mitt Romney on that subject. President Obama had just finished his strongest moment of the debate…Mr. Romney came out stuttering and excited to get out his big attack on the Rose Garden speech, and that it failed in that moment is, I think, what made it so devastating.”
During the live broadcast, viewers at home were able to see the moment of Romney confronting the President on this issue in a powerful close-up. But when Candy Crowley fact-checked Romney, all we saw were the backs of both candidates.
We went back into the isolated footage of the debate to find a camera that was locked on Mitt Romney’s face as Candy Crowley corrected him on this sensitive issue. Take a look at the clip above to see the uninterrupted shot.