Incident in Libya also grabbed voters' interest
Economic concerns still top the list with voters, Fourth District U.S. Rep. Tom Cole said, but foreign affairs have reappeared on district voters' radar with the sacking of the American consulate in Libya.
Cole, R-Moore, talked with The Lawton Constitution's editorial board during a visit to Lawton last week. Voters tell him that concerns about the economy, federal deficit and job creation are "clearly the big three issues," but the killing of four Americans, including the ambassador, in Libya and the wave of anti-American demonstrations in the Middle East have grabbed voters' attention.
The incident in Libya was a "failure of security of really major proportions," Cole said. In addition to having insufficient security for the consulate, he said, the Obama administration initially mishandled the situation by attributing the attack in response to an anti-Muslim video.
"This was a planned assault," the congressman said, but it took days for the administration to publicly come to that conclusion.
"I think they stonewalled the incident a little bit," Cole said.
He finds it "incredible" that the administration bought advertising in Pakistan to explain the American government had nothing to do with the video.
"The United States doesn't have to apologize for free speech," Cole said.