Eager to exploit the slaying of four American diplomats in Libya for political gain, Mitt Romney has only disgraced himself.
Mitt Romney responded to violence against American officials in Libya and Egypt by accusing the Obama administration of apologizing for and sympathizing with the attackers.
On the evening of Tuesday September 11th, just hours after protesters of an American-made YouTube video denouncing Islam stormed the United States Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and Egyptian demonstrators attacked the United States Embassy in Egypt, the Romney campaign rushed a statement to reporters accusing the Obama administration of failing to condemn the attacks and linking the protests to “Obama’s failed Middle East policies.”
The campaign’s response disregarded Romney’s self-imposed pledge not to engage in partisan mudslinging on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, though it came before news broke that four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, were killed in the violence. The Romney team was so eager to connect Obama to the unrest, however, it urged reporters to ignore its initial midnight embargo and print the criticism on Tuesday night.
The GOP’s charge accusing Obama of apologizing for terrorism came in response to an early statement from the American Embassy in Egypt “shortly after noon” on Tuesday, before the attacks began. The statement condemned the intolerant film, but could not speak out against violence that had not yet occurred. “The United States Embassy in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions,” it said, denouncing the “unjustified breach of our embassy.”
The administration distanced itself from the Embassy, noting that its statement “was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government,” and then denounced the violence and deaths that occurred.
However, President Obama released a statement this morning condemning the attacks and rejecting the anti-Islam video.
And see HERE:
The Romney campaign, which dismissed foreign policy as a “distraction” yesterday, now hopes to exploit the violence to advance Mitt Romney’s political ambitions.
Before violence erupted at the American consulate, the U.S. embassy condemned the fringe YouTube video. Romney, in an official statement, said “the Obama administration’s first response” to the violence was to “sympathize with those who waged the attacks” on our consulate. That’s not what happened.
I genuinely want to know what kind of person sees a foreign attack on Americans — an attack that has reportedly led to four U.S. deaths — and thinks it’s acceptable to lie about the violence to gain a few points in the polls. The campaign isn’t going Romney’s way right now, but is that an excuse to exploit the death of Americans with cheap rhetoric? In the face of violence abroad, this was Romney’s first instinct?
And see HERE:
This kind of political opportunism isn’t surprising coming from Mitt Romney. It’s just another example of his utter lack of conviction—other than the conviction that he is entitled to do or say whatever it takes to win. But what this statement does illustrate is that Mitt Romney doesn’t have what it takes to be president. Political attacks are one thing. But Romney launched this particular political attack without knowing all the facts.
As it turns out, four Americans were killed, including our Ambassador to Libya. Romney issued his statement before those basic facts were in. Given the nature of Romney’s statement—a political attack based on a false characterization of what President Obama had done—that sort of shooting from the hip reveals a lack of impulse control that we simply cannot afford to have in a president.