The issue was teed up for Mitt Romney from the get-go at Monday night’s foreign-policy debate: What happened when four foreign-service workers were killed in Libya?
“Was it an intelligence failure? Was it a policy failure?” moderator Bob Schieffer asked. “Was there an attempt to mislead people about what really happened?”
The answer to the first two questions is probably “yes.” The last question, about misleading the American people, is being examined on Capitol Hill, where the Benghazi attacks are widely seen as an embarrassment for the Obama Administration.
But Romney didn’t say any of that.
Instead, the Republican challenger rattled of a litany of problems in the Middle East — from the fading hopes of the Arab Spring to the struggle of “women in public life” to the Bashar Assad regime’s killing of an estimated 30,000 civilians in Syria.
Then he mentioned Benghazi. But only briefly.
“We see in Libya, an attack apparently by, I think we know now, by terrorists of some kind against — against our people there, four people dead,” Romney said.
That was it. Opportunity missed.