President Obama called the death of four Americans at a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, “just a bump in the road”
Obama said new government sometimes have “bumps in the road” during a 2012 interview
On September 11, 2012, a group of militants attacked a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others were killed in the attack.
In an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes on September 23, 2012, President Obama said new governments may have “bumps in the road” during transitions to democracy:
STEVE KROFT: Have the events that took place in the Middle East, the recent events in the Middle East given you any pause about your support for the governments that have come to power following the Arab Spring?
OBAMA: Well, I'd said even at the time that this is going to be a rocky path. The question presumes that somehow we could have stopped this wave of change. I think it was absolutely the right thing for us to do to align ourselves with democracy, universal rights, a notion that people have to be able to participate in their own governance. But I was pretty certain and continue to be pretty certain that there are going to be bumps in the road because, you know, in a lot of these places, the one organizing principle has been Islam. The one part of society that hasn't been controlled completely by the government.
There are strains of extremism, and anti-Americanism, and anti-Western sentiment. And, you know, can be tapped into by demagogues. There will probably be some times where we bump up against some of these countries and have strong disagreements, but I do think that over the long term we are more likely to get a Middle East and North Africa that is more peaceful, more prosperous and more aligned with our interests.
Critics twisted that statement to claim he was referring to the deaths in Benghazi.