An amateur video promoted by a radical Florida pastor has sparked riots in Libya and Egypt, causing the murder of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and a breach of security at the U.S. embassy in Cairo.
The Romney campaign seized on the violence in Egypt Tuesday, releasing the following statement late last night:
I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It’s disgraceful 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.
The “first response” Romney is referring to here is a statement from the U.S. embassy in Cairo reading: “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.”
While the State Department may have been confused about how to respond to the riots, the Obama campaign knew exactly how to respond to Romney. “We are shocked that, at a time when the United States of America is confronting the tragic death of one of our diplomatic officers in Libya, Governor Romney would choose to launch a political attack,” campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said.
At the time of Romney’s statement, the campaign appears to have only known of one death at the U.S. mission in Libya. News broke later that two State Department officials had been killed, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, as well as two U.S. Marines.
Many Democrats firmly believe that the killing of Osama bin Laden has created a generational opportunity to turn foreign policy into a Democratic Party asset, not the liability it has been. Hence news that Obama has been skipping his daily intelligence briefings. That idea will be tested this week.
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Talking Points Memo reports that Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., is not backing off his description of gay Republicans as Uncle Toms.