The White House and administration officials have called the attack a terrorist act, though the White House initially said the attack was a spontaneous assault tied to ongoing protests over a video that ridiculed the Prophet Muhammad.
Obama made his remarks during a taping Monday with first lady Michelle Obama of the ABC talk show "The View." The interview, which mixed fluff and policy, will air Tuesday.
Asked if a Mitt Romney presidency would be a disaster, Obama replied that the nation can "survive a lot."
He added: "The American people don't want to just survive, we want to thrive."
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)