Obama criticizes Republicans for focusing on Benghazi, Obamacare

WASHINGTON Mon May 19, 2014 8:26pm EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama talks while having lunch with construction workers at Shake Shack in Washington May 16, 2014. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. President Barack Obama talks while having lunch with construction workers at Shake Shack in Washington May 16, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama chastised his Republican opponents on Monday for focusing criticism on the events surrounding the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, and on his signature healthcare law.

"The debate we're having now is about what, Benghazi? Obamacare? And it becomes this endless loop. It's not serious. It's not speaking to the real concerns that people have," Obama said.

He was speaking to more than 60 people at a fundraising dinner for Democratic candidates for the House of Representatives.

The event took place at a physician's home in the Washington suburb of Potomac, Maryland, as Obama seeks to persuade Democrats to organize for a voter turnout effort to prevent Republicans from ousting Democrats from control of the Senate and from building on their majority in the House.

Republicans in the House have begun a new investigation of the deaths of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans during a militant attack on September 11, 2012.

The new probe was spawned by the disclosure of an email from Obama national security aide Ben Rhodes. Rhodes used the email to prepare Obama aide Susan Rice for television appearances, telling her to stress that the protests rocking the Muslim world at the time were not rooted "in a broader failure of policy."

Republicans have also directed election-year fire at Obama's Affordable Care Act, focusing on the rocky rollout of the law last October.

Obama said the main focus of Republicans "is trying to figure out how they can make people sufficiently cynical, sufficiently angry, sufficiently suspicious that they can win the next election."

"I hate to be blunt about it, but that's the play," he said.

Polls show Republicans stand to maintain control of the House and possibly seize the Senate in November elections. Such an outcome would make it extremely difficult for Obama to advance his priorities during the last two years of his presidency, in 2015 and 2016.

(Editing by Eric Walsh)

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Comments (27)
Loucleve wrote:
Notice how he conveniently forgot about THE WORST SCANDAL, THE IRS.

the political targeting of Americans by the IRS is an abomination.

this is clearly the most corrupt admin since Grant.

May 19, 2014 8:57pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Timbuk3 wrote:
To say “Republicans in the House have begun a new investigation of the deaths of the U.S. ambassador ” is a bit misleading. The investigation is not about these Americans who died in the line of duty, rather the messaging afterwards, which only obama-haters care about.

The IRS scandal is also misplayed by by the GOP and Fox, both liberal and right wing groups were targeted for review, as they should be.

May 19, 2014 9:16pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Fast and Furious, Solyndra, Obamacare mess, Benghazi, IRS, Veterans Affairs…it just keeps piling up against this administration.

The latter two are nearly impossible to blame on Global Warming, Bush, Congressional Republicans, Vladimir Putin, etc, but it’ll be interesting to watch how the most transparent administration with their hope and change try and skirt their way around these.

May 19, 2014 9:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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