Mitt Romney’s “sharply-worded attack on President Obama over a pair of deadly riots in Muslim countries last night has backfired badly among foreign policy hands of both parties, who cast it as hasty and off-key, released before the facts were clear at what has become a moment of tragedy,” Ben Smith reports.
Romney called the Obama administration’s reaction to the murder of four American diplomats in Libya “disgraceful,” and slammed Obama for “sympathizing” with the attackers. U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three of his staff were killed Tuesday at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi by Libyan protesters apparently enraged by clips of a video, made by an Israeli living in the United States, mocking the prophet Muhammad.
omney Wednesday held a press conference where he stood by his original comments, saying that although the statement from the embassy in Cairo that “sympathized” with the attackers didn’t come directly from Obama, he is still responsible for it. He also said, “The first response from the U.S. must be outrage.”
“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.
Another: “I guess we see now that it is because they’re incompetent at talking effectively about foreign policy. This is just unbelievable — when they decide to play on it they completely bungle it.”
I very much agree with this point, it was “a parallel to the moment when John McCain, amid the 2008 financial crisis, failed to come across as a steady leader.”
Material from the Political Wire was used in this post.