President Obama may be enjoying an advantage in the polls, but his administration's handling of the recent terrorist attack in Libya has provided Governor Mitt Romney with a rare opportunity to score some points against his rival on foreign policy.
It's not yet clear how aggressively Team Romney will move to take advantage of the administration's shifting explanations, but some GOP operatives smell blood and believe the administration's bungled response to the attacks can be exploited for political gain.
Five days after the September 11th assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice said that the murder of four Americans appeared to be a "spontaneous reaction" erupting from protests against an anti-Muslim film made in the U.S.. However, just four days later, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters it was "self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack."
The discrepancy caused some Republicans to question the administration's adroitness in responding to the situation and speculate about a possible political motive in concealing the true nature of the attack.
"It was either willful ignorance or abysmal intelligence," Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said over the weekend. On Meet The Press Sunday, White House senior adviser David Plouffe called any suggestion of a political calculus "preposterous" and "really offensive."
Today on the show, Alex and her panel discussed whether the administration mishandled the situation, and whether Republican criticism is justified or simply an attempt to score political points during election season.