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Chaffetz confronts Crowley over Libya comment

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, directly challenged CNN's Candy Crowley on Wednesday over her decision to play instant fact checker on Mitt Romney's answer to a question on Libya during the second presidential debate.

Chaffetz, a regular surrogate for Romney, appeared on CNN's Starting Point and told Crowley "it was not her place" to correct the candidate. He also said: "I happen to believe your assessment was wrong."

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In the debate, President Barack Obama said he called the attack in Libya that resulted in the death of four Americans including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, an "act of terror." Romney challenged him on it. And Crowley spoke up to say that, indeed, Obama used the phrase "act of terror" in addressing the attack in a Rose Garden speech.

Conservatives argue the president was using the phrase generally, not about the siege on the consulate in Benghazi and that his administration blamed the attack on the Muslim reaction to an offensive web video, a claim that turned out to be inaccurate.

Crowley responded to Chaffetz's critique by saying she was just trying to get the debate moving again: "They were hung up on this one thing. Now, again, Mitt Romney had gone out and said at first they said it was the tape and they said it was this. And then they got hung up on did he say "act of terror" or did he not? And I was just trying to say he said "acts of terror", but you're perfectly correct, they took weeks, two weeks actually was short, they took a month to figure out, or to at least tell us. And then he got back on, yes, the track."

-- Matt Canham

Twitter: @mattcanham

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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