This is disgraceful. Mitt Romney is unqualified to be President. He is desperate and his campaign chose to turn the embassy attacks into a political issue DURING the attacks that Americans died. And he’s just making stuff up and twisting things into pretzels. It is a pathetic attempt to present himself as somehow strong on foreign policy; he is an embarrassment to our country.
Four Americans were killed in an attack on the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya including Ambassador Chris Stevens; a mob of angry Muslims attacked both the embassies in Benghazi and Cairo, Egypt over outrage of the filming of an anti-Muslim movie promoted by Terry Jones – the Florida preacher who has grown famous for burning the Quran. The Muslims who get offended over people saying things about Mohammed need to get over it and fast just like Catholics and evangelical Christians need to accept that there will be times they are offended. People of all faiths need to grow up and accept that not everyone is tolerant of others, but that does not give anyone an excuse to attack an embassy for something one of their citizens has said or done. That’s just another example of religious fundamentalism and it isn’t acceptable.
The American Embassy IS American land. And during this attack on American land – four Americans died. This would normally be a situation for all Americans to stand together and denounce the unacceptable behavior by the mobs in Benghazi and Cairo but Mitt Romney had different ideas. Instead of standing with the President to condemn the violence and mourn the loss of an American civil servant … he decided to try to turn this into a political matter once again putting party above country.
Before I give you the timeline of events – here is what just Republicans are saying about Romney’s decision to make this political HERE:
“Foreign Policy Hands Voice Disbelief At Romney Cairo Statement”: “Bungle… utter disaster…not ready for prime time… not presidential… Lehman moment.” And that’s just the Republicans.
“They were just trying to score a cheap news cycle hit based on the embassy statement and now it’s just completely blown up,” said a very senior Republican foreign policy hand, who called the statement an “utter disaster” and a “Lehman moment” — a parallel to the moment when John McCain, amid the 2008 financial crisis, failed to come across as a steady leader.
He and other members of both parties cited the Romney campaign’s recent dismissals of foreign policy’s relevance. One adviser dismissed the subject to BuzzFeed as a “shiny object,” while another told Politico that the subject was the “president’s turf,” drawing a rebuke from Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol.
“I guess we see now that it is because they’re incompetent at talking effectively about foreign policy,” said the Republican. “This is just unbelievable — when they decide to play on it they completely bungle it.”
“Its bad,” said a former aide to Senator John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. “Just on a factual level that the statement was not a response but preceding, or one could make the case precipitating. And just calling it a ‘disgrace’ doesnt really cut it. Not ready for prime time.”
A third former Republican, a former Bush State Department official, told BuzzFeed, “It wasn’t presidential of Romney to go political immediately — a tragedy of this magnitude should be something the nation collectively grieves before politics enters the conversation.”
The Embassy of the United States 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. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others
That was before any attack …. that was during a demonstration and protest. It then escalated from there and the attack ensued. Seeing an opportunity to turn around the narrative of Romney’s flailing campaign – the Romney campaign sent this statement out WHILE AMERICANS WERE BEING ATTACKED:
“I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”
The response was not from the Obama administration – it was from the Cairo embassy. So – he’s lying again. Then at the same time Americans were being attacked …. Romney senior foreign policy advisor Rich Williamson gives an extensive interview to Foreign Policy where he attacked President Obama for the events HERE:
The attacks Tuesday on two U.S. diplomatic posts were directly related to “the loss of American leadership and prestige throughout the Middle East because of the Obama administration’s failed policies in that region,” Williamson said in an extensive interview late Tuesday evening.
Then the head of the Republican National Committee tweets this:
Obama sympathizes with attackers in Egypt.Sad and pathetic.
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) September 12, 2012
This morning President Obama gave a statement on the attacks:
“Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives. I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe.”
Secretary of State Clinton spoke this morning:
Directly after Secretary Clinton spoke – Romney gave a press conference where he said this:
“We join together in the condemnation of attacks on the American embassies and the loss of American life and join in sympathy for these people. It’s also important for me — just as it was for the White House, last night by the way — to say that the statements were inappropriate, and in my view a disgraceful statement on the part of our administration to apologize for American values.”
Watch him smirk as he walks off after having attacked the President; you can see more HERE:
As Greg Sargent calls Romney a political opportunist who continues to falsely claim Obama is apologizing for “America’s values” HERE:
Romney repeatedly invoked the word “apology,” hearkening back to his regular accusation that Obama has “apologized” for America. “An apology for America’s values is never the right course,” Romney said.
But this press conference looks to me like a serious mistake on Romney’s part. The whole thing reeked of political opportunism and didn’t convey any sense of leadership or reassurance amid a crisis. It was also somewhat incoherent. At one point, Romney defended his reaction by noting that the White House, too, had also condemned the U.S embassy’s statement, claiming: “I had the exact same reaction.” Okay, so Romney is criticizing the Obama administration while simultaneously agreeing with it?
Josh Marshall – the editor from Talking Points Memo adds HERE:
The campaign also authorized Romney’s top foreign policy advisor to give a blistering interview attacking the president while the attacks were continuing.
Politics is hardball. Everything is, in some sense, fair. But campaigns are also a prism into the judgment and steadiness under pressure of a person who would be president. This was amateur hour for the opposition campaign last night, reminiscent of John McCain’s rash call four years ago to cancel the presidential debates and the campaign itself to deal with the unfolding economic crisis. There was nothing ignoble or dishonorable about McCain’s suggestion. It just showed a certain rashness that was widely viewed as unpresidential.
Romney’s moment was quite different — rash and shameful. Not worthy of a president. Crass, undignified and troubling on many levels.
Andrew Sullivan says Romney is unfit to be President HERE:
These people are simply unfit for the responsibility of running the United States. The knee-jerk judgments, based on ideology not reality; the inability to back down when you have said something obviously wrong; and the attempt to argue that the president of the US actually sympathized with those who murdered his own ambassador in Benghazi: these are disqualifying instincts for someone hoping to be the president of the US. Disqualifying.
John Kerry has a response HERE:
This is one of those moments when Americans must unite as Americans. It is exactly the wrong time to throw political punches. It is a time to restore calm and proceed wisely.
And you can see a trailer of the horrible anti-muslim film that sparked the outrage by hardline Muslims HERE.
The Wall Street Journal gives background on the film HERE:
The movie, “Innocence of Muslims,” was directed and produced by an Israeli-American real-estate developer who characterized it as a political effort to call attention to the hypocrisies of Islam. It has been promoted by Terry Jones, the Florida pastor whose burning of Qurans previously sparked deadly riots around the world. …[The] film [is] about the Prophet Muhammad, portions of which in recent days have been circulating on the Internet. Contravening the Islamic prohibition of portraying the prophet, clips from the film show him not only as flesh and blood—but as a homosexual son of undetermined patrimony, who rises to advocate child slavery and extramarital sex, for himself, in the name of religion.
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