Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney released a statement Tuesday night condemning the Obama administration’s response to attacks on U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya, the latter of which left one American dead.Here’s Romney’s statement:
“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.”
Romney’s statement later drew a stern rebuke from the Obama campaign, which said it was “shocked.”
“We are shocked that, at a time when the United States of America is confronting the tragic death of one of our diplomatic officers in Libya, Governor Romney would choose to launch a political attack,” spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement.
Protestors in Egypt and Libya attacked U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya on Tuesday, scaling the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and tearing down its American flag over an online film that was considered offensive to Muslims.
The U.S. Embassy in Cairo released a statement — which came before the protests began — apologizing for the film.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the filmmaker, an Israeli-American real-estate developer, called Islam a “cancer” in an interview.
Here’s the U.S. Embassy’s statement:
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 honouring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy.
“The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government,” an administration official told Politico.
Romney, though, asserted that the president was sympathizing with the attackers.
Romney’s campaign originally embargoed the statement’s release for midnight Wednesday, when the calendar turned past Sept. 11. Fifteen minutes after sending out the embargoed statement to reporters, the campaign lifted the embargo.
In an earlier speech to the National Guard in Nevada, Romney had emphasised refraining from political gamesmanship on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The Embassy seems to be in the process of retracting its statement after originally backing it. It sent out this tweet Tuesday night, but later deleted it:
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