By Amie Parnes - 09/27/12 06:14 PM EDT
President Obama does believe that the attack in Libya was terrorism, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney clarified to reporters on Thursday.
Pressed about Obama's position on the Benghazi attacks, Carney said the president -- who has not publicly called the assault "terrorism" -- believes that it was indeed a terror attack, "since I said so" last week.
Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, Carney referred all questions on the investigation in Libya to the FBI. But he added that Obama is "determined, as he has said many times, that the perpetrators of the attack that cost four American lives, including our ambassador, be brought to justice.
"And he will insist that the agencies of his administration take all necessary action to bring about that eventuality," Carney added.
Team Obama accused Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney of trying to turn the attacks into a political issue. But they said they aren't worried about Romney's tack. "Every time Gov. Romney has attempted to dip his toe in the foreign policy waters, it's been an unmitigated disaster," said Jen Psaki, Obama's traveling press secretary. "If you look at the last couple of months ... he went on a foreign trip that was built up, offended our closest ally.
"He gave a speech that was his best opportunity to lay out his case to the American people on why he was prepared to be commander-in-chief, and he failed to mention our troops, failed to mention Afghanistan," Psaki continued. "He jumped the gun in criticizing the president on the night that these tragic events happened, which is something that, as we know, is not traditionally what takes place in a political campaign given the tragedy and the seriousness of what was under way."