Reid: Republicans using Benghazi to start ‘political food fight’

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Republicans are using the Benghazi attack to “gin up yet another political food fight” ahead of the November election.

“For Republicans to waste the American people’s time and money staging a partisan political circus instead of focusing on the middle class is simply a bad decision,” Reid said on Friday. “While Republicans try to gin up yet another political food fight, Senate Democrats will remain focused on fostering economic growth for all hard-working Americans.”

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Reid’s comments came after Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced he would appoint a select House committee to expand the Republican investigation into the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.

Republicans have pounced on recently released emails from White House adviser Ben Rhodes. In those emails, sent in advance of TV appearances by then-United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, Rhodes said officials should make it a goal to show that the protests were based on an Internet video.

Republicans have charged that the White House initially linked the attack to a protest because it wanted to play down the idea it was a terrorist attack before the presidential election. The administration eventually acknowledged the attack was an act of terrorism.

Republicans have said the new emails prove the White House attempted to mislead the public for political gains.

Reid said instead of focusing on issues the public cares about, such as raising the minimum wage, Republicans are fixated on “debunked right-wing conspiracy theories.”

“There have already been multiple investigations into this issue and an independent Accountability Review Board is mandated under current law,” Reid said. “Republicans care more about defending billionaires like the Koch brothers and trying to rekindle debunked right-wing conspiracy theories than raising the minimum wage or ensuring women receive equal pay for equal work.”

Senate Republicans have blocked Democrats’ attempts to vote on bills that would raise the minimum wage and ensure women get equal pay for equal work. Income inequality is the center of Democrats campaign efforts for the November election.