The event was billed as an opportunity to “come hear NH Congresswoman Ann Kuster speak about her trip to Israel” and listen to her “share experiences of her summer trip to Israel and answer questions about Israel and the Middle East.”
But when a question came up at the Nov. 25 event at the Jewish Federation of New Hampshire about the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Kuster refused to answer it, saying, “I’m certainly not here to talk about it. I’m here to talk about the Middle East.”
“That is the Middle East,” a woman in the audience says in a video made at the event by a Republican former state lawmaker and self-described Zionist.
A man’s voice adds in the video, “Libya is, like, right in the middle of the Middle East.”
“I think she has a lot of education to do as far as the Middle East goes,” said former Rep. Greg Salts of Manchester, who made the video and said he is active in a group called “NH for Israel.”
He said he shared the brief clip of Kuster, a Democrat, with a friend, and it was made public by GOP activists on Monday. Soon, the video went viral.
The National Republican Congressional Committee called it “pathetic.” The conservative group Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire called it “indefensible” and evidence that Kuster has a “puddle-deep understanding” of all foreign policy issues. GOP congressional candidate Gary Lambert said, “We deserve better.”
Once she was brought up to speed, she had a prepared statement:
“Like all Americans, I was horrified by the tragic attack on our Embassy in Benghazi that killed four patriotic Americans. Our focus must remain on finding those responsible, bringing them to justice, and taking every necessary step to prevent an attack like this from ever happening again.”
Sure you are. Deer, meet headlights: