The candidates were in their Sunday best attire and behavior last night at the Alfred E. Smith Charity Dinner. Both President Obama and Mitt Romney took playful jabs at each other and at themselves for a good cause. But it was probably just for one night. Just a few days ago, there was little to joke about when the candidates went face to face over integral issues at the second presidential debate. Obama’s appearance on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” also made a stir while he was in New York. Governor of Ohio Ted Strickland and former Governor of New York George Pataki join Soledad O’Brien on “Starting Point” to weigh in on the appearances.
Governor Strickland, who is also the National Co-Chair for the Obama Campaign, remarks on last night’s event. “I think these events do display something about the personalities about the individuals,” Strickland says. “And certainly last night, we saw two very funny men.” On a serious note, Obama responded to a question about the administration's response to the Benghazi attack on The Daily Show during his New York visit. He told Stewart, “If four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal.”
Strickland comments on the criticisms Obama continues to face over Libya. “I think this whole issue is being politicized, and I don’t understand why,” Strickland says. “I think the most obscene part of this whole scenario was the fact, that while our embassy was still under attack, here was Governor Romney holding a press conference criticizing the president.”
From the other side of the aisle, Governor Pataki says President Obama’s statement on “The Daily Show” were “a poor choice of words.” But he says to focus on what matters. “There are two issues in my mind,” Pataki says. “First of all, why was security pulled, two military teams pulled, in August of this year from Bengazi and Libya when the ambassador and others were saying they feared for their lives because we didn’t have adequate security?” Pataki’s second point is the President’s misstatement in the second presidential debate regarding his Rose Garden speech. “I think it’s unfortunate.”