Mitt Romney’s Disgusting Misrepresentation of Obama’s Libya Statement
You’ve got to give it to Mitt – he never misses a chance to lie. From the Huff Post:
Romney, in a statement released Tuesday night, had called the president’s handling of the Libya and Egypt attacks “disgraceful.” Wednesday morning, Romney hastily scrapped a campaign rally in Jacksonville, Fla., dismantling a campaign stage, and instead held 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.”
Steve Kornacki at Salon clears up the gigantic distortion:
That’s not at all what happened, of course. The actual chronology goes something like this: As anti-American protests inspired by a crude Terry Jones video began gathering steam, the U.S. embassy in Cairo – and not the Obama White House — put out a statement condemning “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.”
The obvious intent was to cool the passions of the protesters. As Marc Ambinder explained, it was “exactly what Americans inside the embassy who are scared for their lives now and worry about revenge later need to have released in their name.”
Protests were also building in Libya, and sometime later the U.S. consulate in Benghazi came under siege, with news breaking late Tuesday night that a State Department official had been killed. It was around this time that two major American political figures released statements. One came from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and read: “I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission. We are heartbroken by this terrible loss. There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.” The other was Romney’s.
It has since been learned that a total of four people – the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three of his staff members – were killed in the attacks. President Obama has now issued a statement condemning the assault, praising Stevens, and pledging “all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe.”
Romney’s willful misrepresentation of the President’s position is a disgusting and shameful attempt to paint Obama as an anti American terrorist sympathizer. This time the lie is so blatant it makes Romney look distinctly un Presidential and could serve as another turning point in the election. As BuzzFeed notes:
“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, who called the statement an “utter disaster” and a “Lehman moment” — a parallel to the moment when John McCain, amid the 2008 financial crisis, failed to come across as a steady leader.