Risk Getting 'Burned' On Benghazi Issue: Senator
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[May 05, 2014]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Any attempt
by Republicans to embarrass the Obama administration over the deadly
September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, could backfire in the
mid-term congressional elections, a Republican U.S. senator warned on
Some Republicans view the attack, in which militants killed four
Americans at the U.S. mission in Benghazi including Ambassador
Christopher Stevens, as a political liability that could hurt
President Barack Obama's Democrats in November.
Although the issue may resonate with some voters, pushing it too
hard is politically risky for Republicans, said Republican Senator
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who is running for re-election
"If we're playing politics with Benghazi, we'll get burned," Graham
said on CBS's "Face the Nation."
When asked if the issue has become more about politics than
substance, Graham said: "Anyone who believes this is just about
politics, go tell that to the family members ... Anyone who plays
politics with Benghazi will get burned."
The Benghazi issue resurfaced last week after a conservative
watchdog group released emails that it said showed Obama
administration officials were concerned with protecting the
president's image in the days after the attack.
Republicans in the House of Representatives seized on the new
evidence last week and called for a special, "select committee" of
lawmakers to investigate.
In response, a State Department spokeswoman said on Friday: "This is
just another attempt to use this politically."
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Renewed attention on the Benghazi attack could raise political
trouble for Hillary Clinton, a possible 2016 Democratic presidential
candidate, who was secretary of state during Obama's first term and
at the time of the attack.
In a May 2 interview with Reuters, Republican Senator Charles
Grassley said the Benghazi attack was among a series of scandals
that highlighted concerns about Obama overstepping its authority and
which would be on the minds of voters in November.
(Reporting by Patrick Temple-West; Additional reporting by Patricia
Zengerle; Editing by Paul Simao)
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