Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) joined the chorus of Republicans criticizing President Obama’s response to the violence in Libya on Monday, going so far as to suggest that the administration’s handling of the situation is worse than Watergate — the scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon:
BLACKBURN: I think this is an issue — Benghazi-gate is the right term for this. This is very, very serious, probably more serious than Watergate. And to call this a response to a video when it was obviously a terrorist attack — and when you read some of the documentation on this, and you know that there has been other sites and locations that have bind attack in Libya, when you know that the Libyan government felt there was something getting ready to transpire.
Fox News, Republican lawmakers, and conservative pundits have for weeks criticized U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice for initially characterizing the attack as a “spontaneous reaction” to a movie trailer disparaging the Prophet Muhammed. Since then, however, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, and even White House Spokesperson Jay Carney have all used the word “terrorist” to describe the attack. Obama himself attributed the violence to terrorism during a September 12 address at the Rose Garden. “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for,” he said. “Today, we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.”
On Friday, Mike Huckabee also hinted that Obama should be impeached over the incident. Blackburn joined Rep. Peter King (R-NY) in calling for Rice to resign.
Steve Benen notes that Republicans have made it a bit of a pattern to call non-scandals during the Obama administration the next Watergate.