New Hampshire Rep. Ann Kuster, a first-term Democrat, recently received a question about Benghazi at a public forum. Twice she tried to wiggle her way out of addressing the issue before being bailed out by a moderator.
“‘First, can you please let me know your position on House Resolution 36 that would authorize a select committee to get to the bottom of Benghazi?'” Kuster appeared to read from a card as she stood behind a podium. “Um, I don’t have — that’s a Senate, I think — I don’t think we have anything about that in the House.”
“Yes, you do,” someone in the crowd whispered. H. Res. 36 is a measure from Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) that would establish “a select committee to investigate and report on the attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, Libya.”
“Can you address Benghazi? What are you going to do about Benghazi? Why isn’t Benghazi at the top of your issue [sic]?” the individual continued, this time speaking audibly enough for Kuster to hear.
“Well, I’m certainly not here to talk about it. We’re here to talk about the Middle East,” Kuster responded. The National Republican Congressional Committee pointed out that the Eisenhower Doctrine of 1957 defined Libya as part of the Middle East. Also, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs lists Libya as part of its purview.
The moderator then jumped in and tried to steer the conversation toward Kuster’s recent trip to Israel. The event, which took place Nov. 25 at the Jewish Federation of New Hampshire, was billed as an opportunity to hear Kuster “share experiences of her summer trip to Israel and answer questions about Israel and the Middle East,” the New Hampshire Union Leader reported.
NRCC spokesman Ian Prior characterized the New Hampshire Democrat’s response as unbecoming of a federal lawmaker.
“Let’s be clear — Annie Kuster is a United States Congresswoman. Four Americans died as a result of the attacks in Benghazi. For her not to even address a voter’s questions about what the United States government is doing to get answers on those terrorist attacks makes her unqualified for the office which she holds,” Prior said.
Update: Kuster released the following statement Monday, per WMUR.
“Like all Americans, I was horrified by the tragic attack on our Embassy in Benghazi that killed four patriotic Americans. Our focus must remain on finding those responsible, bringing them to justice, and taking every necessary step to prevent an attack like this from ever happening again.”