Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took "responsibility" for the lack of security at U.S. consulate in Benghazi in an interview with CNN Monday night. In remarks from Peru, Clinton said that the "President and Vice President certainly wouldn't be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals."
Clinton's belated move to own the tragedy in Libya marked a departure from her 2008 sparring with candidate Obama over just such issues of responsibility. That year, then-Senator Clinton criticized then Senator Obama during the Democratic primary, seizing on comments Obama had made about being a President who would inspire and provide a vision for the country and not make sure "everything's running on time."
"Being President means being both CEO and COO of one of the largest and most complex organizations in the world," Clinton said.
"I know that we can get on top of this, but it's going to require strong presidential leadership — it's going to require a President who knows from day one you have to run a government and manage the economy," Hillary Clinton added, using the flailing economy to hit Obama. "The buck stops in the Oval Office."
Then Senator Obama's team hit back at Clinton's criticism comments made her sound like she was running for chief manager — not commander in chief.
"The truth is that we're not running for chief of staff. We're running for President of the United States," David Axelrod said, adding the President's role was to "provide direction and leadership."
"I think sometimes there's a relentless pursuit of the little picture over there at the Clinton campaign," Axelrod continued. "There are bigger issues at stake here."
Hillary Clinton also said at rally in Missouri in January, "I believe we need a president who believed what Harry Truman believed. That buck stopped in the Oval Office."
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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