01/15/2013 08:33 pm ET Updated Jan 16, 2013

Michael Hastings: Benghazi Victims' Arrival Contributed To Obama's Failure In First Debate (VIDEO)

Journalist Michael Hastings, perhaps best known for his Rolling Stone article that led Gen. Stanley McChrystal to resign, told HuffPost Live Tuesday about a thus far unreported reason President Barack Obama had such a poor performance in his first debate with former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Hastings cited a number of factors he believes contributed to Obama's famously lackluster showing at the Denver debate, including overconfidence and altitude, as well as another point chronicled in his new book, "Panic 2012."

"This has never been reported before, but it's in the book: One of the president's debate prep sessions, when he was supposed to be preparing for this, was the day that the bodies of the four victims in Benghazi came back to Andrews Air Force Base," Hastings told HuffPost Live host Alyona Minkovski, referring to the four Americans killed last year in the deadly attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya. "So he literally gave a speech about Benghazi, met the families of these victims from like 1 to 4 p.m., and then goes and tries to focus on getting ready to argue with Mitt Romney over tax policy."

Watch the Full Interview with Michael Hastings on HuffPost Live.