White House Press Secretary Jay Carney criticized Republicans who oppose President Obama's apologies to foreign officials, as he reminded reporters that President Bush also apologized to the Afghans when a Koran was mishandled by a soldier a few years ago.
"That's a fully false, fallacious and ridiculous narrative that is not borne out by any facts," Carney replied this morning when asked, after mentioning that Obama had apologized to Afghan President Karzai over the inadvertent burning of Korans at Bagram Air Force Base, about the "narrative" that Obama apologizes too much for American actions. "It is wholly appropriate, given the sensitivities to this issue, the understandable sensitivities."
Newt Gingrich, speaking later in the day, said it was "astonishing" that Obama had made the apology. "There seems to be nothing that radical Islamists can do to get Barack Obama's attention in a negative way and he is consistently apologizing to people who do not deserve the apology of the president of the United States period," he said.
Carney invoked Bush to continue his explanation of the apology. "I would note that one of my predecessors, Dana Perino, the Press Secretary for President George W. Bush, following an incident in which an American serviceman apparently shot or did damage to a Koran in 2008, she expressed apologies on behalf of the President," he said. "And that’s appropriate for the same reason, because our concern -- this President’s concern, as was surely the case with President Bush, is the safety and security of our men and women in uniform, as well as our civilians in Afghanistan."