Republican Strategists Doubt Wisdom Of Hammering Obama Over Benghazi

FILE – In this Feb. 14, 2013, file photo Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. confer at the start
FILE – In this Feb. 14, 2013, file photo Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. confer at the start of a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the appointment Chuck Hagel to be the next Secretary of Defense on Capitol Hill in Washington. On a Sunday talk show Feb. 17, 2013, when asked he if he supported the Hagel nomination, McCain said, "No, I don't believe he's qualified." "But I don't believe that we should hold up his nomination any further, because I think it's (been) a reasonable amount to time to have questions answered," he said. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Republican strategists questioned why the party is continuing to focus on the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, in a Thursday story by NPR.

"I missed the meeting among Republicans where it was decided this would become an angry cause célèbre that should be pursued at all costs and with no holds barred," Republican strategist Ed Rogers told NPR. "I think there is Benghazi fatigue -- a lot of conscientious followers of the news that are somewhat bewildered by why this issue has lingered."

Juan Zarate, a counterterrorism adviser to George W. Bush, told the news outlet that the current focus on "talking points and the way that the administration portrayed the incidents in the early days after the attacks" has resulted in a lack of focus on more important information around the threat of terrorism.

The admissions seem to have fallen on deaf ears by GOP Senators, namely John McCain (Ariz.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.), who have held multiple press conferences and appeared in front of dozens of television cameras to hammer the president in response to the attacks. Republican senators grilled former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in January over the issue. At one point, Clinton said to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), exasperated, "Four Americans are dead. What difference does it make?"

The White House has provided the Republican senators with more information on the president's whereabouts during the Benghazi attack in a letter. But Graham told USA Today that he will block the nomination of John Brennan as CIA Director until he gets answers on Benghazi. The refusal is an apparent blow to the Obama administration's strategy of providing more information on the Benghazi attacks to Republican senators, while withholding drone memos, meant to smooth the passage for Brennan's confirmation.



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