News / USA

    Romney Criticizes Obama on Cairo Embassy Attack

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney comments on killing of US embassy officials, Sept. 12, 2012Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney comments on killing of US embassy officials, Sept. 12, 2012
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    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney comments on killing of US embassy officials, Sept. 12, 2012
    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney comments on killing of US embassy officials, Sept. 12, 2012
    The violent attacks on the U.S. consulate in Libya and embassy in Egypt quickly became the focus of the U.S. presidential election campaign Wednesday. Republican candidate Mitt Romney criticized the Obama administration’s handling of the attack on the embassy in Cairo, but those comments quickly sparked a retort from Democrats.

    The presidential campaign took a sharp turn into foreign policy in the wake of the attacks in Libya and Egypt.

    Speaking in Florida, Republican candidate Mitt Romney told reporters that the attacks were “outrageous” and “disgusting” and said Americans joined together to mourn the loss of four Americans in Libya including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

    But Romney then zeroed in on an early statement from the U.S. embassy in Cairo that criticized the obscure video allegedly made in the United States that triggered the violence.

    The embassy statement condemned efforts by what it called “misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims,” and was issued before the announcement of the deaths of U.S. diplomats in Libya.

    Romney called the embassy statement disgraceful.

    “When our (embassy) grounds are being attacked and being breached that the first response of the United States must be outrage at the breach of the sovereignty of our nation and apology for America’s values is never the right course,” Romney said.

    Romney was then pressed by reporters as to whether it was wise for him to comment on a foreign policy crisis as it was unfolding.

    “I don’t think we ever hesitate when we see something which is a violation of our principles.  We express immediately when we feel that the president and his administration have done something which is inconsistent with the principles of America,” Romney said.

    A short time later, President Barack Obama appeared at the White House with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to express sorrow for the deaths of the U.S. diplomats and to condemn the violence.

    “The United States has been a nation that respects all faiths.  We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.  But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence.  None,” Obama said.

    Obama did not respond to Romney’s comments in his remarks.  But earlier the Obama campaign criticized the Romney campaign for choosing to launch what it called a “political attack” in the midst of an unfolding situation overseas.

    Democratic Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the Romney attack was “irresponsible,” “callous” and “reckless.”

    But Romney did get some support from fellow Republicans including California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher.

    “The response suggested an understanding of Muslim rage toward a negative portrayal of their religion.  There is no understanding of that type of violence,” Rohrabacher said.

    Many political analysts were surprised that Romney would weigh in so strongly in the midst of an unfolding international situation.

    Analyst Rhodes Cook is the author of a Washington political newsletter.

    “You know the economy is Obama’s ‘Achilles Heel,’ not foreign policy.  So to go there and go so forcefully at a time when several American diplomats have been killed and to make it kind of a political debate over the administration’s foreign policy is, you know, open to question,” Cook said.

    The Romney comments also provoked a strong reaction from some foreign policy experts.

    Lawrence Korb is a former Defense Department official who is now with the Center for American Progress, a Democratic-leaning policy research group in Washington.

    “Well, I should say that I’m appalled, but not surprised because I think the Romney campaign is desperate to try and close the gap on foreign policy, which had been a traditional Republican strength in the elections but it is not this time,” Korb said.

    Public opinion polls have given President Obama an advantage over Romney in handling foreign policy, especially in the wake of last year’s U.S. commando raid in Pakistan that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

    Foreign policy will be the subject of the third and final presidential debate to be held October 22.

    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

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    Comments
         
    by: Stephen from: Brooklyn
    September 13, 2012 11:35 AM
    Observation. The embassy statement didn't express apology "for America's values," as Mr. Romney asserted. The statement--and I am quoting from this website's correct reportage--expressed condemnation of "efforts by what it called 'misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.'" (VoM) He confuses apology with condemnation. More tellingly though, he confuses here the acts of "misguided individuals" with "America's values."

    Mr Romney's statement associates the anti-Muslim video with American values. His response to the embassy statement is divisive. That is to be expected. Mr Romney follows Christianity and he is responding to the world as a Christian. Obviously his response to the world can only be a limited one therefore. Make the changes: if he were following Islam or Buddhism or Judaism or Atheism his response would be just as limited not to say misguided (speaking of misguided).


    In Response

    by: Rhonda from: Georgia
    September 13, 2012 7:15 PM
    I want to hear what Romney thinks about everything that is happening, even if it is criticism of the present administration. An election is right around the corner and we need to know where he stands.

    by: aargent from: ca
    September 12, 2012 11:36 PM
    I think that human imaginary friends (god) have gotten enough people killed already. Religious people suck. Both Muslims and Christians, you both suck. Always trying to force your belief in imaginary friends on the rest of us and Muslims are following in the footsteps of Christian crusaders with their murderous ways. All of you need to kill yourselves and make the world a better place.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    September 14, 2012 1:17 AM
    Don't let others get you down about this... you are absolutely right (except about the killing yourselves part). We do not need any more violence in the name of religious beliefs.
    In Response

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    September 13, 2012 8:38 AM
    Shut up aar gent (ca) and keep quiet if you are lost and don't have a reasonable contribution to make. Ineptitude is at stake here - who is wrong and who's ready to react to bring succor to USA in the face of trouble - quick response that should have saved the situation. It is about who have used the name of God wrongly to destroy God's creation, not that God has not done His part. Never insult God for man's failure; and don't insult God when satan's agents carry out their job and an equally inept satanic agent fails to act promptly.

    by: Anonymous
    September 12, 2012 8:04 PM
    An act of WAR and Obama thinks it better to wait. I think the worst part is the medias response. Over 24 hours pass and then he comments. And how did Obama reassure our allies in the area? How has Obama given US Citizens in the area reassurance. He sided with the aggressors. What side is he on anyway. Only later did he come out and condem the attacks. Obama needs to go!
    In Response

    by: T. from: NY
    September 12, 2012 11:05 PM
    Talk about siding with the aggressors--what about the fact that Romney criticized our embassy while it was under attack? Remember, Romney's criticism was a response to the embassy's statement--he just pretended it had been Obama's statement so he'd have an excuse to criticize Obama's foreign policy. That kind of cheap political theater during a crisis does not make Romney seem like someone who should be responsible for America's international diplomacy.

    by: Paul Felix Schott from: United States of America
    September 12, 2012 6:24 PM
    How many more Americans need to die. In and near the Middle East is the only way to stop this American blood from being giving to the wicked for sport is to get you two out of office Clinton and Obama?

    GOD WILL NOT HELP THEM THE WICKED JUDGMENT DAY We need Leaders that put GOD then Family then Country in that order for with out GOD and Family NONE will have A Country.

    Mislead Middle Easterners have threatened to kill and take measures against Christians sounds like bullying bad boys. That their Mother and Father never showed them right from wrong. All the good on Earth want peace Not War. If you cannot have your way you are going to hurt someone this sounds like a mad men to most of the world.

    If someone really cares for them, give them a Bible with red letter print. That is a red letter edition words that were spoken by are Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. With a Pray for them the LOST maybe they will be saved, and not go to hell.

    Remember for over a Thousand years you have taken you life at risk from the

    wicked for carrying a Bible. They have burned the Bible in public many times they have cut off the head of anyone carrying one many a times. They have bombed many a Christian Church, Killing many.

    The Persecution of Christians in the Middle East has gone on for over two thousand years.

    The Leaders of many Christian groups have criticizes Muslim leaders and Leaders of governments for failing to intervene after series of deadly attacks on Christians and their Churches in many countries around the World, each Christmas.

    Killing at least 35 Christians Christmas day Church, Nigerian 2011. Killing over 20 Christians New Year's Eve mass Egypt 2011. 50 killed Christians at a Catholic Cathedral

    Baghdad 2010. Over 200 injured Christians Imbaba region by Cairo 2011. The list goes on

    and on and has for many years now. Have you for got so easy many American's like Paul Marshall Johnson, Jr. that was kidnapped and then beheaded in Saudi Arabia in 2004. While thousands gathered and prayed for the wicked to let him go, Till all heard the sound coming from THE PATRIOTIC TRUMPET PLAYER, Monica D. Key Lindbergh playing taps.

    How many Muslim Churches have been attacked or bombed while they are in there

    church by Christians? Answer 0

    The World wants Peace not more wars.

    Many wicked Leaders have deliberately deceived many that are LOST.

    The Lord's Little Helper

    Paul Felix Schott
    In Response

    by: Kolade from: Lagos, Nigeria
    September 21, 2012 4:07 AM
    I so much appreciate your very objective comment. It will be wrong to vex one man's error on thousand innocent ones.if a person or group of people will produce an irresponsible film, I think this does not justify the violent outrage. Thank you and God bless America. Americans are known to be productive and not dependent. Americans wake up from your slumber. I see Romney the best option for todays America. Americans pls dont go down the drain. China is ready to over from you.

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