In the aftermath of what many political observers say was the worst presidential debate in U.S. history, more evidence has emerged today that the flap over Candy Crowley's performance as moderator is becoming a full blown scandal as more Americans review the video and the transcripts from the debate.
The mainstream media in one accord proclaimed Obama the winner of the debate. But opinion polls of citizens appear to contradict that assessment when voters are asked about specific issues.
In numerous surveys conducted throughout the campaign, voters list the economy and jobs as by far the most important issue of the race. Those same polls are now showing that Romney is the one viewed by the vast majority who can most effectively deal with the economy and jobs.
But an unexpected weakness has emerged on the part of Obama as the debates unfold -- foreign policy. From Obama to Hillary Clinton to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, the manner in which the administration has dealt with the assassinations of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other diplomats has raised serious questions about the competence of the administration on foreign policy issues. Requests to add security to U.S. personnel in one of the most dangerous areas of the world was denied by the administration. Obama and Clinton both have accepted full responsibility for the failure.
Another scandal, however, brews just under the surface with regard to the manner in which the Libyan debacle was handled by debate moderator Candy Crowley of CNN on Tuesday night.
Not only did Crowley help Obama by confirming an inaccurate statement the president made concerning the Libyan terrorist attack, which she was later forced to retract, but those who have studied the video and transcripts of that part of the debate have noted a highly suspicious occurrence that casts the legitimacy of the entire debate into question.
When Romney confronted Obama over his numerous statements after the assassinations that the attack was a response to an obscure U.S. film that "insults the prophet Muhammad," not only did Obama deny it but he claimed he admitted in the Rose Garden the day after the massacre that the Libyan attack was an act of terrorism.
At that point Obama stated, "Get the transcript," while looking directly at Crowley. It was also at that point that Crowley appeared to pick up a sheet of paper from her desk, stating that Obama did, in fact, say the attack was terrorism.
But Crowley's claim was false.
Obama never stated in the Rose Garden that the Libyan attack was an act of terror. And although Obama used the word "terrorism" in his remarks, he did so only within the context of the commemoration of the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington, the day on which the Libyan murders were committed. Obama never referred to the Libyan attacks specifically as an act of terror.
The full text of Obama's Rose Garden remarks can be viewed here.
Blaming the attacks on the film is the very first thing Obama and Rice did after the assassinations occurred. The White House said so the day after the murders. Rice said so on five news shows the following Sunday morning. Not once was a word said about the incident being an act of terror resulting from growing anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world, in spite of the fact they had already been told that very thing from intelligence sources on the ground and State Department personnel who monitored the attack in real time.
Neither was there a spontaneous protest gathering the day of the assassinations as Obama and his surrogates have claimed incessantly from day one.
The potential gargantuan scandal, however, rests in the three key occurrences in the debate involving Obama and Crowley. Obama said to Crowley, "Get the transcript." Crowley pick up what appeared to be a document from her desk. She then said to Romney that it was correct that the statement was in the transcript.
Numerous important questions arise from that one exchange. Why would Obama look at Crowley to "get the transcript?" How would he possibly know Crowley even had the document? Why would Crowley have the transcript from the Rose Garden statement right in front of her, as if she were lying in wait for the right moment to pounce on Romney with a "gotcha" moment?
But more importantly, does this exchange indicate direct collusion between the Obama campaign and Candy Crowley? The entire episode smacks of prior planning. If this is the case, then it represents the final nail in the coffin regarding the mainstream media as a neutral, fair, and unbiased referee in these encounters.
Such a collusion between a campaign and a news reporter in a debate would be tantamount to the referees conferring with the coaches of a particular football team before the game to determine how they would work together to make sure that team was given every advantage over the other. If such a thing were to be proved, angry fans would howl all the way to the courts, demanding not only that the conference investigate the scandal but that some sort of legal sanction should be slapped on the team and the referees involved.
But this is no football game. This is a race for the most important political office in the entire world. And if, as it appears on the surface, that a news reporter and a candidate for president conferred ahead of time to determine how they would gain an advantage over the candidate's opponent, then it is time for a broad based investigation with the possibility of legal sanctions against the guilty parties.
At the very least the next debate should be cancelled pending that investigation due to the fact that it has now become clear that the mainstream media has potentially rigged the debates to favor Obama, regardless of how he performs in those debates.
A new entry in my regular series Musings After Midnight is now posted at my blog, The Liberty Sphere. It's titled "The Proverbial Line in the Sand and Contingency Plans, or, Thinking the Unthinkable."
Visit my ministry site at Martin Christian Ministries.
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