Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is calling on Americans to reject President Barack Obama's bid for a second term if he fails to lay out all the facts surrounding the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, by Election Day.
"I think the proposition is simple," Gingrich told Fox News' Sean Hannity Wednesday night. "If the president does not report to the country before the election he earns a no vote on re-election because he is refusing to be honest with the American people."
Gingrich made the comment in the wake of a Fox News report Wednesday on what it referred to as a secret, Aug. 16 cable from U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya to the State Department expressing concerns the consulate would not be able to defend against a coordinated attack.
The cable, which also detailed concerns about al-Qaida and other Islamist extremist groups operating out of Benghazi, seemed to foreshadow the Sept. 11 attack that killed Stevens and three other Americans.
Gingrich and other Republicans, who have all but charged the administration of engaging in a cover-up of security failures leading up to the attack, said the cable proves the administration knew the consulate and its personnel could not be protected and failed to act in time.
They said it also proves the president's initial assertion the attack was carried out in response to an anti-Muslim video circulating on YouTube was not true.
"This whole thing gets stranger and stranger," Gingrich said, accusing the White House of "playing games with us."
Gingrich said the administration should have known based on the warnings and requests from Stevens and others for more security that the dangers in Benghazi were clear.
He said the administration still did not respond to requests for help even after Washington was notified the attack on Sept. 11 was under way.
There was a seven-hour period, Gingrich said, in which military forces could have been dispatched from bases in Italy and Turkey.
"Why wasn't anything done for seven hours? I mean we now have seven weeks of refusal to explain seven hours. I find it very mystifying," Gingrich said, "adding that "the American people deserve to know the truth."
Turning to the election, Gingrich said he believes that despite unanswered questions about Benghazi, he expects the president to get "a little bit of bump" as Nov. 6 approaches, primarily because of his response to Superstorm Sandy and New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie saying "positive" things about him.
"That has a positive impact," Gingrich said.
But he predicted things would be back "where we were before the hurricane" by this weekend, with Romney moving ahead of the president in the polls.
And, Gingrich added, "as the [hurricane] waters recede, Benghazi is still going to be here."
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