(Newsroom America) -- President Obama has come under fire for a perceived gaffe during an appearance with Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show," in which he said the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, last month were "not optimal."
Obama, fresh off an appearance with GOP rival Mitt Romney at the Alfred E. Smith Dinner in New York, where the two traded jokes and praise, was responding to a question by Steward about his handling of the situation in the attack's aftermath.
"When four Americans get killed, it's not optimal," the president said.
The comment has sparked outrage among Republicans and has set the Twitter world ablaze with negative responses.
"Ambassador Chris Stevens, diplomat Sean Smith and security men and former U.S. Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were killed by terrorists on the 11th anniversary of 9/11 - an attack that the White House initially blamed on a spontaneous protest about an anti-Islam movie made in California," Britain's Daily Mail reported.
Here is the exchange:
STEWART: "Is part of the investigation helping the communication between these divisions? Not just what happened in Benghazi, but what happened within. Because I would say, even you would admit, it was not the optimal response, at least to the American people, as far as all of us being on the same page."
OBAMA: "Here's what I’ll say. If four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal."
The president continued with this response: "We’re going to fix it. All of it. And what happens, during the course of a presidency, is that the government is a big operation and any given time something screws up. And you make sure that you find out what’s broken and you fix it."
The word "optimal" was first used by Stewart, but Obama's use of it when he responded is likely to be used as a sound bite by political opponents, especially because the president said it during an appearance on a Comedy Central program, said reports.
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