Politics: Romney doubles down on Obama foreign policy criticism

Published by: Robert Laurie on Wednesday September 12th, 2012

Robert Laurie

By ROBERT LAURIE – Press hammers Romney over his tough stance

Yesterday’s weak response to the attacks in Libya and Egypt managed to create a firestorm of controversy – and that was before anyone had been killed.  The statement, which implies that the United States is apologizing for the 1st Amendment, reads as follows.

“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.”

Last night, Mitt Romney issued a statement condemning the President’s administration for the tepid response.

‘‘It’s disgraceful,” Romney said, “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.’’

Obama has tried to distance himself from the initial statement, claiming that it was not vetted by the White House, but Romney has doubled down on his criticism.  Wednesday morning, at a hastily organized press conference, Romney argued that the President is ultimately responsible for statements released by those who speak for the United States.  In essence, saying the buck stops at Obama’s desk.

The press hammered Romney, suggesting that he was too quick to issue his statement and did so before the facts were in.  Romney rejected this also, saying again that the administration’s reaction was “disgraceful” and “akin to an apology.”

Regarding the attacks themselves, Romney didn’t mince words, calling them "outrageous" and "disgusting."

"America,” he said, “will not tolerate attacks against our citizens and against our embassies.”