Fox Distorts Obama's Words On Democracy In The Middle East

››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

Fox News is claiming that on 60 Minutes President Obama characterized the death of an American ambassador and other violence as "bumps in the road." In fact, when Obama made that statement, he was referring to the fact that he supported the transition of Arab countries from autocratic rule to democracy during the Arab Spring even though he knew the transition would not be perfect.

On 60 Minutes, Obama Confirmed His Support For Newly Elected Arab Governments

Obama Talked About How He Embraced The Arab Spring Even Though He Knew At The Time That There'd Be "Bumps In The Road." In the 60 Minutes interview, Obama was asked whether recent events in the Middle East had given him "any pause" about supporting the governments that came to power following the Arab Spring. Obama responded by saying "it was absolutely the right thing for us to do to align ourselves with democracy" and universal rights even though he "was pretty certain and continue[s] to be certain that there are going to be bumps in the road":

KROFT: Have the events that took place in the Middle East, the recent events in the Middle East given you any pause about your support for the governments that have come to power following the Arab Spring?

OBAMA: Well, I'd said even at the time that this is going to be a rocky path. The question presumes that somehow we could have stopped this wave of change. I think it was absolutely the right thing for us to do to align ourselves with democracy, universal rights, a notion that people have to be able to participate in their own governance. But I was pretty certain and continue to be pretty certain that there are going to be bumps in the road because, you know, in a lot of these places, the one organizing principle has been Islam. The one part of society that hasn't been controlled completely by the government. There are strains of extremism, and anti-Americanism, and anti-Western sentiment. And, you know, can be tapped into by demagogues. There will probably be some times where we bump up against some of these countries and have strong disagreements, but I do think that over the long term we are more likely to get a Middle East and North Africa that is more peaceful, more prosperous and more aligned with our interests. [CBSNews.com, 9/23/12]

Fox Twisted Obama's Words To Claim That He Called U.S. Ambassador's Death A "Bump In The Road"

Hannity: Obama Called "Vicious Murder Of Four Americans ... Just A Bump In The Road." On his Fox News show, Sean Hannity played edited video of Obama's remarks on 60 Minutes and claimed that Obama "had the nerve to liken this terrorist attack and the vicious murder of four Americans -- what he calls it, just a bump in the road."

HANNITY: Last night, the commander-in-chief had the nerve to liken this terrorist attack and the vicious murder of four Americans -- what he calls it, just a bump in the road. Watch this.

[begin video clip]

KROFT: Have the events that took place in the Middle East, the recent events in the Middle East given you any pause about your support for the governments that have come to power following the Arab Spring?

OBAMA: Well, I'd said even at the time that this is going to be a rocky path.

[break in video]

OBAMA: I was pretty certain and continue to be pretty certain that there are going to be bumps in the road.

[end video clip]

HANNITY: Now a U.S. ambassador, two Navy Seals, and another American are assassinated: he calls it a bump in the road?" [Fox News, Hannity, 9/24/12]

Krauthammer: Media Would Go Crazy "If Romney Had Said The Death Of Our Ambassador ... Is A Bump In The Road." On Special Report, Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer claimed that Obama said "the death of our ambassador" and "the death of three other Americans" is "a bump in the road." [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier, 9/24/12]

Kilmeade: When Obama "Talked About ... The Killings In Libya, He Called It Bumps In The Road." Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade also claimed that Obama called the deaths of Americans "bumps in the road" during his 60 Minutes interview. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/25/12]

When Actually Talking About The Libya Attacks, Obama Vowed To Bring Killers To Justice

Obama On Libya Attack: "We Will Not Waver In Our Commitment To See That Justice Will Be Done." In a statement the day after the attacks in Libya, Obama said: "The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack." He also vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice:

Every day, all across the world, American diplomats and civilians work tirelessly to advance the interests and values of our nation.  Often, they are away from their families.  Sometimes, they brave great danger.

Yesterday, four of these extraordinary Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Benghazi.  Among those killed was our Ambassador, Chris Stevens, as well as Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith.  We are still notifying the families of the others who were killed.  And today, the American people stand united in holding the families of the four Americans in our thoughts and in our prayers.

The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack.  We're working with the government of Libya to secure our diplomats.  I've also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world.  And make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.

[...]

No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.  Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America.  We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act.  And make no mistake, justice will be done. [WhiteHouse.gov, 9/12/12]

Obama: "I Strongly Condemn The Outrageous Attack" In Libya. In a separate statement on the Libya attacks, Obama condemned the attack in Benghazi and stated that "we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants." From Obama's statement:

I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America's commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.

I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.

On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya's transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.

The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe. As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward. [WhiteHouse.gov, 9/12/12]

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Sean Hannity, Charles Krauthammer, Brian Kilmeade
Show/Publication
FOX & Friends, Hannity, Special Report with Bret Baier
Stories/Interests
Benghazi
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