Candy Crowley Attempts to Clear Up Debate’s Rose Garden Moment

Lara Seligman

CNN's Candy Crowley, the moderator in Tuesday's presidential debate, attempted on Wednesday to clarify a testy exchange over remarks President Obama made in the Rose Garden the day after the terrorist attack in Libya.

In response to an accusation by Mitt Romney that the Obama administration failed to label the attack an act of terrorism, President Obama claimed that he did so in his Rose Garden address immediately following the attacks. Romney said it was not true, and Crowley pointed out that Obama did make a reference to terrorism during his initial comments. She then said Romney was “perfectly right that it took weeks” for the administration to give a more full account of the attacks.

“There was this point they both kind of looked at me," Crowley said on CNN’s Starting Point. "The president is looking at me; Mitt Romney is looking at me. And I wanted to move this along.” 

She added: “There is no question that the administration is quite vulnerable on this topic.”

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan accused Crowley on Wednesday of walking back her initial assertion. “Well, she backtracked from that statement, as you know,” Ryan said on ABC’s Good Morning America. “She basically said she was wrong in that assertion. That Mitt Romney is right in what he said.”

But Crowley said she never backpedaled.