Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter thinks that the “entire reason” the killing of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stephens and three of his embassy staff became political was "because of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan."
"We would have told the American people what we know and, you know, in terms of the politicization of this, we're at a debate and I hope we get to talk about the debate but the entire reason that this has become the, you know, political topic it is because of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. It's a big part of their stump speech and reckless," Cutter said during her interview with CNN.
Cutter has come under fire for her comments that were in response to a question about the White House's changing stories about the terrorist attack on the consulate in Libya that left four Americans dead and the U.S. embassy in flames. Cutter had been arguing that the administration was working to get "to the bottom of that attack to figure out what happened and bringing the people to justice."
During the interview, Cutter abruptly accused Republicans of playing politics, claiming pressure from the Romney campaign was the "entire reason" the issue had persisted. It is not clear if Cutter was condemning the congressional investigators for conducting oversight, according to a report by The Hill.
Cutter was interrupted by the host of the program, who argued "the American people have a right to answers."
"Right, absolutely," Cutter said.
Romney's campaign wasted no time responding to Cutter’s remarks by releasing a statement.
“The reason it is an issue is because, for the first time since 1979, an American ambassador was assassinated and President Obama’s foreign policy strategy of ‘leading from behind’ is failing," Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement.
"This administration has continually misled the American public about what happened in Benghazi and, rather than be truthful about the sequence of events, has instead skirted responsibility and dodged questions," her statement continued. "The American people deserve straight answers about this tragic event and a president who can provide leadership, not excuses.”