Mitt Romney Responds to Libyan Crisis in Worst Way Possible

Last night, an armed mob—angry over an American-made video denigrating the Prophet Muhammad—attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing Ambassador Christopher Stevens, along with three of his staff members. This came after a similar uprising in Egypt, where protesters climbed the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and tore down the American flag. Initial reports on the situation—which revealed the death of a U.S. official—were followed by this statement from the Romney campaign:

“It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn the attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”

Likewise, Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus tweeted that “Obama sympathizes with attackers in Egypt. Sad and pathetic.” Both are in response to a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo—released before protesters breached the compound—which criticized said film for hurting “the religious feelings” of others. The White House says it did not authorize the statement, and since then, President Barack Obama has released a statement condemning the violence and mourning the dead:

“While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants,” said Obama, describing Ambassador Stevens as a “courageous and exemplary representative of the United States” who “selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi.”

It’s not out of bounds for Mitt Romney to criticize the president’s handling of foreign-policy crises; in fact, it affords Romney an opportunity to articulate a foreign-policy vision. But it’s not a critique to accuse the president of the United States of sympathizing with “those who waged the attacks” and killed four American citizens. It’s an ugly charge that ignores the dead in order to make a cheap—and false—attack on Obama. As Mother Jones’s Adam Serwer puts it, “The official Republican response to Americans being killed abroad yesterday is that the president of the United States is on the side of the killers, so vote Romney.”

I have to wonder if this is part of the Romney campaign’s plan to move away from its focus on Obama’s economic stewardship and toward an across-the-board attack on the administration’s policies. If so, it stinks of desperation. Swing voters, who give the president high ratings on national security, won’t be swayed by crass opportunism and attacks that present Obama as an anti-American radical.

In addition to being the wrong message for the occasion, this is a huge misstep for the Romney campaign. Voters are still undecided on whether Romney is ready for the presidency, and moves like this only strengthen the Democratic case that the former Massachusetts governor is too inexperienced and too belligerent to serve as president, much less commander in chief.

Comments

Actually, I believe this is a deliberately calculated attack, used by the Romney campaign to strengthen the suspicion still rampant -- especially in the Southeastern US -- that the President is a Muslim. As such, it fits nicely with the other fact-free messages the Romney campaign has been littering across the country. What they would do on the world stage...

Does anybody know for sure if Obama in his heart is Muslim or Christian? Based on his words and actions there is ample evidence for either side to support their position. Unfortunately after nearly 6 years we know very little about what Obama believes or what he stands for. It seems everything he has done after he got off drugs and got serious has been solely to advance his political career; perhaps even including his conversion to christianity.

"got off drugs and got serious "? I think you may be thinking about the guy before Obama.

Romney's shockingly amateurish behavior after the attacks amply demonstrates why he is unqualified and unfit to serve as President of the United States.

It is a very sad day in this country when the shills for the wishywashy do nothing about the mideast, Islam loving Obama, call an appropiate firm response from Romney, crass, ugly, and dangerous. It is time to get the softy, apologetic, let's talk about it out of office so this country can return to greatness and lead from strength and respect.

Jamelle, you seem to have gotten under the skin of at least one troll/fanatic, here ;-), someone who does not approve of the "mideast, Islam loving" (whatever that means) s/he projects onto our President.

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