Politics

Stephanie Cutter refuses to answer specific questions about politicizing deadly Libya attack, won’t resign

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Matthew Boyle
Investigative Reporter

President Barack Obama’s deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, offered no apology and refused to resign for playing politics with the murders of four Americans in Libya a month ago — including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens — when questioned in Danville, Kentucky, before Thursday’s vice presidential debate.

On CNN on Thursday, Cutter said Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s campaign is the only reason anyone cares about the administration’s changing narrative about the Sept. 11 attack on the Benghazi embassy.

“In terms of the politicization of this — you know, we are here at a debate, and I hope we get to talk about the debate — but the entire reason this has become the political topic it is, is because of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan,” Cutter said. “It’s a big part of their stump speech. And it’s reckless and irresponsible, what they’re doing.”

TownHall Magazine’s Katie Pavlich asked Cutter if she had any plans to resign over the comments. “I do not,” Cutter responded.

Pavlich also asked Cutter if she stood by her decision to politicize the situation. (RELATED: Cutter defends remarks on Fox News Channel late Thursday)

“I do,” she said, before scrambling away from Pavlich, who was visibly flustered with Cutter’s unresponsiveness.

Obama campaign rapid response spokeswoman Lis Smith, who has been tweeting up a storm defending Cutter’s remarks, didn’t immediately respond to The Daily Caller when asked if President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden also approve of Cutter’s statements.

After Cutter made the remarks, she doubled down in a written statement.

“From the time of the attack in Libya, Mitt Romney has stopped at nothing to politicize these events,” she said in the written statement. “While Mitt Romney, Congressman Ryan, and their Republican allies in Congress have turned a national tragedy into a political circus, the President has been focused on getting the facts, finding the terrorists responsible, and bringing them to justice. Our nation’s security and how we handle the transitions in the Middle East and North Africa are critical issues in this campaign, and just 26 days before an election, the American people deserve real ideas and specifics from Mitt Romney.”

 UPDATE 7:55 p.m.:

Cutter has changed her tune and is now open to resigning for her remarks about Libya — but she has conditioned her promise of resignation on something from the Romney campaign.

“I promise to resign as soon as Romney releases his taxes or gives a foreign policy speech with some policy in it,” she said, according to The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein.

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