This may sound rather melodramatic, but Mitt Romney today did something more startling than being awakened by a gorilla.
His quick response to the attack in Libya, perhaps riding in tandem with a fiendish gleam of opportunity to capitalize in his eyes, was rash enough to cost him the election.
I guess, to coin a phrase, desperate times call for desperate measures.
Mere hours after the deaths of Chris Stevens, our U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three State Department officials in a targeted rocket attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Romney unleashed an attack on President Obama and our diplomats in the Middle East.
Romney, spurning his filter, slammed Obama and our diplomats in Cairo: “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.”
Romney’s heavy flogging of Obama so fresh after the attack and deaths could be perceived as unpresidential by many. He unwittingly may have written and self-inflicted his own recipe for disaster.
The attack on the consulate in Libya, and a separate incident at the U.S. embassy in Cairo, came on a day of violence and anger over rumors of an anti-Islamic film that depicts the prophet Muhammad as a fraud.
Romney’s reference to an “apology for America’s values” was directed at a statement the U.S. Embassy in Cairo issued Tuesday. But that statement, which was itself responding to the outrage over the anti-Islamic film, was issued before the embassy was attacked, despite Romney’s statement to the contrary.
What’s more, the statement does not apologize for America’s values, but rather supports a founding American value, religious tolerance, while referencing the “universal right of free speech.”
His knee-jerk reactions apparently didn’t give Romney enough time to activate his fact-checker. Then again, evidently when you’re on the right, you’re always right.
President Obama today condemned the “outrageous and shocking” attack in Libya and said: “Make no mistake. We will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.”
Perhaps I’m not as politicized as Romney and many of you, but I see nothing apologetic in Obama’s response.