Obama still wants to close Guantanamo

Oct. 18, 2012 at 6:28 PM
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NEW YORK, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama told Comedy Central's Jon Stewart Thursday he still wants to close Guantanamo but needs help from Congress to do so.

Closing the prison -- set up to deal with terrorists captured in Iraq and Afghanistan on the U.S. base at Guantanamo, Cuba -- was among the major promises Obama made during the 2008 campaign.

In an appearance recorded for Stewart's "The Daily Show" between a campaign event at Veterans Memorial Park in Manchester, N.H., and an appearance at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, Obama said: "One of the things we have to do [to close Guantanamo] is put a legal architecture in place, and we need congressional help to do that so that not only am I reined in but any president's reined in, in terms of some of the decisions we're making."

Obama admitted he had an "off night" in his first presidential debate against Republican nominee Mitt Romney and promised to get to the bottom of what led to the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three others dead.

"The government is a big operation and [at] any given time something screws up. And you make sure that you find out what's broken and you fix it," Obama said. "Whatever else I have done throughout the course of my presidency the one thing that I've been absolutely clear about is that America's security comes [first], and the American people need to know exactly how I make decisions when it comes to war, peace, security, and protecting Americans. And they will continue to get that over the next four years of my presidency."

Asked what makes him think he can end congressional gridlock if he's elected to a second term, Obama said the answer is electing more Democrats to Congress.

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