By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2012, 3:22pm PT  

The Rightwing finally choked on their own internal feedback loop last night. Mitt Romney paid the price for it. It could be a big one.

During the 2nd Presidential debate, as Obama responded to the phony Rightwing charge that it took him two weeks to refer to the deaths of four U.S. State Department officials in Benghazi, Libya as an act of terror, I tweeted the moment this way: "Obama's best answer of the night was on Libya."

When Romney took the bait and fell back on a false Fox "News" talking point, only to be corrected by the moderator, I followed with: "Candy Crowley does LIVE fact-checking! He DID call it an act of terror. #Journalism!" and then, as Romney kept digging: "Boom. Libya discussion just makes TOP of every post-debate wrap" and finally "If he doesn't screw up hereafter, Obama may have just won the Presidency in that Libya moment."

Here was the moment in question...

Indeed, as I also noted on Twitter just afterwards, the President had, in fact, referred to Benghazi as "an act of terror" during his first statement on the tragedy on the day following the incident.

Here's a helpful mashup of Romney stepping in it last night, contrasted next to Obama's actual Rose Garden comments from 9/12/12:

Adam Sewer at Mother Jones offers about as good of an explanation as I've seen for what I believe will be regarded as Romney's historic debate failure, and why the Right was finally hoisted publicly on their own insulated petard.

To put a sharper point on what went so desperately wrong for them, and what will continue to go wrong on the Right until they break out of their Karl Rove "we create our own reality", Fox "News" internal feedback loop trance, Rightwingers would have been far better served here if they had bothered to heed the advice that was also ignored by Tony "Scarface" Montana: "Don't get high on your own supply."

For the historic record, Obama referred to the Libya attack as an "act of terror" both on the day following the attack and then again on the day afterward. The direct quotes of both of those responses follow below...

This is from the White House transcript of Obama's Rose Garden address on 9/12/12, the day after the attack in Benghazi:

Yesterday, four of these extraordinary Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Benghazi. ... The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. ... And make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people. ... No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.

And this is from the White House transcript of Obama's remarks on the following day, 9/13/12, in Golden, Colorado, while discussing what happened in Libya:

So what I want all of you to know is that we are going to bring those who killed our fellow Americans to justice (applause) I want people around the world to hear me: To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished.

Despite the very clear evidence that Romney screwed up big time last night, I expect the Right will keep on digging here. It is unlikely to work out well for them, but because they have become so incredibly dysfunctional and wholly out of touch with reality, they'll keep digging anyway. See the GOP's hilarious attempt to try and dig their way out of this one, for example, in what they call "Lie #1" at the very top of their "fact-check" response last night.

Apparently the GOP has a lot of supply on which to keep getting high. It didn't end well for Tony Montana either.

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UPDATE: By way of one late piece of irony: Romney appears to have waited nine days before referring to Benghazi as an act or terrorism...