Photo: Courtesy of CNN
Mitt Romney addressed the attacks on U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya this morning, doubling down on his harsh criticism of President Obama last night for which he has caught heat.“I believe the administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt,” Romney said in Jacksonville, Fla.
Romney refused to back down from a statement he issued last night, which accused the president of sympathizing with the attackers.
What Romney is criticising is a statement and multiple tweets issued by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, which apologized for an anti-Muslim filmed that had sparked outrage and led protestors to scale the wall of the Embassy and tear down its American flag. The Embassy’s apology, though, came before the protests began.
Here’s the statement from the Embassy to which Romney is specifically referring:
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.
Obama has disavowed the statement, but Romney said that anything coming from the embassy “is the administration.” He said the White House sent “mixed signals” with its response to the attacks.
Romney faced a barrage of questions after his remarks this morning from reporters who questioned if his attacks were legitimate, insensitive in the wake of the death of Americans, and came too soon.
The attacks on the U.S. compounds have left four dead, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya.
“I think it is a terrible course for America to stand in apology for our values,” he said in response to one question.
He was then asked if his campaign “jumped the gun” before getting the facts and issuing last night’s statement.
“I don’t think we ever hesitate when we see something that’s a violation of our principles,” Romney said.He added: “I think President Obama has demonstrated a lack of clarity as to a foreign policy.”
Here’s Romney’s full statement from last night:
“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,” he said in a statement late last night. “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.
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