7:54PM EST November 5. 2012 – On the eve of the presidential election CBS News program 60 Minutesreleased a transcript of an interview with President Obama in which he said it was “too early to tell” whether the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya was an act of terrorism.
The statement appears to contradict Obama’s claim in a second debate with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney that he identified the Sept. 11 attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans as a terror attack the day after it happened.
Romney had criticized Obama at the Oct. 17 debate for refusing to accurately call the assault “terrorism” and pointed to instances where Obama referred to it several times as a spontaneous protest of an anti-Islam video for weeks afterward.
Obama said he referred to it as an act of terror Sept. 12 in a statement in the Rose Garden at the White House. Debate moderator Candy Crowley of CNN agreed and told Romney he was wrong.
But in an interview with CBS newsman Steve Kroft after the Rose Garden statement but on the same day, Obama was asked what he meant because Kroft indicated it was unclear.