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President Obama defends handling of Libya attack

3:32 PM, Oct 18, 2012   |    comments
(Photo credit BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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David Jackson, USA TODAY

President Obama defended his handling of the Libya attack during a mostly serious appearance Thursday on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.

Obama said security would be improved at embassies worldwide, said attributed changing stories of the attack to changing evidence.

"Every piece of information that we get -- as we got it -- we laid it out to the American people," Obama told Stewart.

Officials initially said the attack that killed ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others to the protest of anti-Islam film that got out of hand; days later, they called it a pre-planned terrorist attack.

Asked about better communications and security, Obama said: "When four Americans get killed, it's not optimal. We're going to fix it. All of it."

Obama also discussed his sub-par performance in the first debate with Mitt Romney, Obama said he had an "off night," but the issues remain the same.

"Governor Romney makes a good presentation," Obama said, "but the fundamentals he's calling for are the same policies that got us into this mess."

Stewart, whose program satirizes the news, also threw in some comedy -- asking Obama how many times Vice President Joe Biden shows up for meetings in a "wet bathing suit."

"We had to stop that," Obama deadpanned. "I gotta say, though, he looks pretty good."

From the pool report:

"When asked about the trade-off between national security and civil liberties, Obama reiterated his vow to close Guantanamo. And when asked about political gridlock in Washington, Obama said he hoped that more Democrats are elected to win more seats."

USA TODAY

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