Romney Assaults Obama On Libya After Saying Foreign Policy Was A ‘Distraction,’ Says Obama Sympathized With The Attackers
Just a couple of days after the Romney campaign said that foreign policy was a “shiny object” and “distraction” by President Obama, which is like saying “I’m not going to let no more road left distract me from driving,” it appears that they now love ‘shiny objects’ more than Kim Kardashian.
Perhaps realizing that he’s losing a lot of ground and has nothing to run on but fear and fear itself, Mitt Romney suddenly became a foreign policy guru and began assaulting President Barack Obama and the besieged diplomats in the Middle East within hours of the deaths of four U.S. diplomats, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya. It should be noted that Peggy Noonan and other right-wing commentators not only have all heavily criticized Romney’s premature and flagrantly misleading attacks, but said that politicizing a crisis as it was still unfolding showed a lack of commander-in-chief credentials. That’s right–Republican panjandrums were more troubled with the unfolding crisis caused by Romney’s criticism of the crisis than the crisis itself.
Here was Romney shooting off his silver foot-in-his-mouth in a premature and misleading statement released Tuesday night:
“The president’s handling of the Libya and Egypt attacks is disgraceful,” said Romney (Huffington Post)
And here was Romney early Wednesday morning after scrapping a campaign rally in Jacksonville, Fla. and holding a small press conference in which he repeatedly defended his criticism of the administration, slamming embassy officials in Cairo and President Obama:
“When our 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,” he said,slamming the Obama administration for “sympathiz[ing] with those who waged the attacks. (Huffington Post)
There’s just one tiny problem with Romney’s criticism: the White House never said that; not even the words “who” or “with.” An inconsistency to something Mr. Etch-a-sketch said? The hell you say!
It seems that Romney’s reference to an “apology for America’s values” was in fact directed at a statement the U.S. Embassy in Cairo put out on Tuesday morning. However, that statement, responding to the outrage over the anti-Islamic film, was actually issued before the embassy was even attacked, despite Romney’s statement to the contrary. And guess what? The statement unequivocally, categorically does not apologize for America’s values. On the contrary, it calls for religious tolerance (a big Republican no-no), while referencing the “universal right of free speech,” another big Republican no-no. One would think that Romney would finally have heard of a thing called Google to cross-reference these statements
Here’s the statement in full:
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.
You don’t have to be a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute to instinctively know that any campaigning politician with a modicum of diplomatic prowess and drop of depth should probably shy away from slinging mud at the President during a time of tragedy, all in an effort to gain even a nanosecond of campaign advantage. But this is precisely the type of diplomatic prowess that had John Kerry calling Romney’s trip to Europe a “blooper reel.” I don’t know about you, but I think it’s time for the RNC to perform a system recovery on this latest Mittbot.
Michael is a comedian/VO artist/Columnist extraordinaire, who co-wrote an award-nominated comedy, produces a chapter of Laughing Liberally, wrote for NY Times Laugh Lines, guest-blogged for Joe Biden, and writes a column for MSNBC.com affiliated Cagle Media. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and like NJ Laughing Liberally Lab if you love political humor from a progressive point-of-view. Seriously, follow him or he’ll send you a photo of Rush Limbaugh bending over in a thong.