On Sunday, Rep. Paul Ryan said that he doesn’t know whether or not President Barack Obama intentionally misled the public with doctored talking points after the September 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Though many Republicans believe that the Obama administration intentionally misled the public as to the nature of the now-understood terrorist attack on the Benghazi consulate, Ryan has shown restraint on the issue, amending his previous comments that the administration had indeed manipulated the official talking points purposely.
“What we now know from congressional testimony is that the number two man in Benghazi, the deputy chief of mission, informed his superiors including the secretary of state that this was a terrorist attack,” Ryan said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“Those of us who have had the briefings, seen the videos, know there was no protest involved. To suggest afterwards that this was the result of a spontaneous protest, we now know is not the case. So the burden of proof here is on the administration’s side. It is — why did they continue to push this kind of a story when they knew nearly immediately afterwards that that was not the case?”
When asked if he believed that the Obama administration manipulated the talking points in order to help them win the election, Ryan responded:
“I don’t know the answer to that question. Rather make a conclusion before an investigation has been completed, we just need to investigate this for the sake of good government.”
Though Ryan has as recently as last week continued to push the Benghazi coverup narrative, he may be showing some restraint as part of what seems to be a wider GOP strategy as the Obama administration deals with no less than three scandals in one week.
Though these scandals represent a gift horse to Republicans, instead of over-playing their hand (as they have been wont to do lately), GOP leaders have actually urged restraint this week.
According to Rep. Tom Cole, a close ally of House Speaker John Boehner, the GOP is well aware that they accidentally generate sympathy for Obama with nakedly political attacks without a factual foundation.
They hope to change that in the face of such dramatic and damning scandals against the Obama administration.
What do you think? Are Republicans starting to play softball with President Obama? Do these scandals speak for themselves? Sound off!
[Image via: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons]