NEW YORK (AP) — President Barack Obama said Monday "there's no doubt" that the assault of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans including the U.S. ambassador "wasn't just a mob action" but a sign of extremism in nations lacking stability. His words about the Libya killings were his most specific since the White House called it a "terrorist attack" last week.
"What's been interesting, just this past week, there were these massive protests against these extremists militias that are suspected, maybe, of having been involved in this attack," Obama said during the taping of an interview on ABC's talk show program "The View."
The White House initially said the storming of the consulate attack was a spontaneous assault tied to ongoing protests over a video that ridiculed the Prophet Muhammad, but has since broadened its answer to say an investigation will show what ultimately happened.
Obama and first lady Michelle Obama taped the show — a clear pitch to women voters — in New York the day before the president addresses the U.N. General Assembly. The interview, a mix of policy, politics and personal tidbits, will air Tuesday. Obama made a solo appearance on "The View" in July 2010, drawing an estimated 6.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen. The first lady appeared on the show in late May, where she discussed family life and the re-election campaign.
Asked if a Mitt Romney presidency would be a disaster, Obama hardly disagreed with the sentiment, replying that the nation can "survive a lot." He added: "The American people don't want to just survive, we want to thrive."
Obama pointed to Romney's assertion that it is fair for a person with a $50,000-a-year income to pay a higher percentage of their earnings in taxes than someone who makes millions from investments. Romney said a low capital gains tax rate encourages economic growth and encourages people to invest.
"I've just got a different vision about how we grow our economy," Obama said, adding that such growth is faster when the middle class is doing well.