Republicans risk getting ‘burned’ by Benghazi issue

Republicans risk getting ‘burned’ by Benghazi issue

BENGHAZI:This April 29 photo shows House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaking on Capitol Hill in Washington. Boehner says he'll establish select House committee to investigate Benghazi attack. Photo: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Any attempt by Republicans to embarrass the Obama administration over the deadly Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, could backfire in the mid-term congressional elections, a Republican U.S. senator warned on Sunday.

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 this year.

“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.”

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)

Recent Headlines

in Local Sports

Jimmy Graham leaves on cart with right leg injury


Graham was hurt with 13:36 left in the fourth quarter after trying to grab a deep pass in the end zone from Russell Wilson.

in Sports

Kobe Bryant says he will retire at end of 2015-16 season

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, left, talks with head coach Byron Scott, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, in San Antonio. Los Angeles won 112-110.

The 37-year-old Bryant made the announcement in a post on The Players' Tribune on Sunday

in Sports

Heat check: College coaching carousel turns into roller coaster

LSU head coach Les Miles watches from the sideline in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Florida in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. LSU won 17-6.

This coaching carousel is more like a roller coaster and this weekend there was enough action to make those trying to keep up dizzy.

in Local Sports

Former Lynden star Bryce Sterk wins Husky football award

Lynden Lion Bryce Sterk (72) makes a tackle against Sedro Woolley in the 2A State Championship game. Dec. 6, 2014 
Photo Credit: Brandon Naff

Sterk was given the "Ultimate Dirt Dawg" award for his work in the weight room.

in Sports

Latest from the NFL: Cold and some snow expected in Denver

NFL logo on the field before an NFL football game between the Detroit Lions and the New England Patriots in Detroit, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013.

The latest from NFL games around the league on the 12th Sunday of the season.