Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge told The Daily Caller it was “very courageous” for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to take full responsibility for the terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Libya.
Ridge also said President Obama cannot “strut around taking credit” for “getting” 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden but at the same time not disclose “what truly happened” in Benghazi to the American public.
“I think Secretary Clinton has more courage and conviction than the two people at the top of the chain of command. I think she’s trying to take responsibility to deflect ultimately the responsibility from the president – very courageous on her part,” said Ridge in a video interview at Hofstra University during the presidential debate.
“I used to go up in her office and we’d talk serious issues. I mean, she courageous, a women of great conviction and political courage and I think she’s trying to deflect the criticism – not going to work. There’s still a lot of unanswered questions.”
Ridge, former Republican Governor of Pennsylvania, said much focus has been put on requests made by State Department officials for additional security prior to the September 11 attack, which were ultimately denied.
“Nonsense – September 11th, September 11th in Libya, shouldn’t have had to ask for it, number one and number two, if it happened on the 11th, a week later, on David Letterman, President Obama’s still talking about it’s just some kind of spontaneous response to that ugly film,” Ridge told TheDC.
“Well, they had to know definitely and if they didn’t know, they should’ve. So not knowing or knowing and not disclosing it to the American public; that ought to be very troubling. I don’t care whether you’re a Republican, Democrat or Independent, that’s not the qualities of the president we want.”
Ridge said he views presidents as responsible for the “good and bad,” using former President John F. Kennedy taking responsibility for mistakes in the Bay of Pigs operation as an example.
“I personally think if you’re going to strut around taking credit for getting Bin Laden, okay? If you’re going to take credit for getting Bin Laden, then if a terrorist attack occurs on 9-11, in an area where you knew you needed added security and none was provided and in my judgment refused to disclose what truly happened, you can’t have it both ways and at the end of the day, you are accountable for the good and bad, not just the good,” Ridge said.