Romney Answers PA Voter on Libya

During a telephone town hall Wednesday evening with Pennsylvania voters, Mitt Romney explained his criticism of the Obama administration’s handling of the situations in Egypt and Libya.

After facing criticism for politicizing a nation security event, the presidential hopeful clarified his criticism of the President in the context of the timeline of events.

Kasie Hunt of the Associated Press Wednesday reported, in a specific detail, the timeline of Romney’s reaction to Tuesday’s attacks. Protesters stormed the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt. Later, militants attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing four American diplomatic personnel including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

“How would you have handled the situation in Libya as opposed to President Obama?” asked Lisa from Quakertown, Pa. on Wednesday’s call, after noting that she supports the Republican.

Romney softened his earlier criticism of the President, suggesting that the administration had erred when the website of the U.S. embassy in Egypt posted – and did not remove – a statement critical of an anti-Islamic film.

He had initially characterized the Cairo embassy’s statement  as a response to the breach by protesters, when in fact the statement was issued beforehand.

Here is Romney’s response from Wednesday’s call:

“We’ll look at all the timelines, but as we understand it, of course the first attacks on the embassy occurred in Egypt. And, there were of course disruptions outside the embassy and there were angry people shouting and demonstrating. And the embassy put out a statement, which said that, again as I understand it, which in some respects apologized for the fact that in America, we have free speech.

“I thought that was an inappropriate statement. That statement stayed out there on their website even after after, as I understand it, even after people stormed into the embassy compound, violating the sovereignty of our land. And even after there was a death of a member of our diplomatic corps in Libya.

“So, even after those things occurred the statement remained on the website of the embassy of the United States in Egypt which was, if you will, an apologetic statement for American freedom of speech. I thought that was a very bad choice on the part of the administration and I said so.

“I think whenever America is facing people who are critical of us or demonstrating against us, that we must have confidence that our cause is just and that we should defend our Constitution and the individual freedoms which we enjoy in America.  I don’t believe in apologizing for America.

“Obviously if I make mistakes myself I apologize for them, if there are mistakes made by an individual we apologize for them, but we don’t apologize for America itself, for our Constitution, for the freedoms which we enjoy. And my own view is that we need to make it very clear, and not just in Libya and Egypt but throughout the world that there are principles which we hold dear and that we do not apologize for them.”

10 Responses

  1. Unbelievable posts above.
    First, for those picking on the their. Wasn’t Romney’s people, it was the press. It says on a phone call, Romney answered questions; therefore, someone translated the notes/recording.
    Secondly, Many beyond Romney thought the note was put up after the attack…give the guy a break. At least he went forward to make a statement.
    What did Obama do? He made sure he made his meeting with Letterman. As Cairo continued to burn, he made sure he had a good fundraising event in Vegas.

    Obama was the one that would have had all details passed to him, not Romney. Romney did as we did assumed we knew the answers and spoke. Obama did nothing.

  2. Well, if it wasn’t before, it is now: this is a “choice” election.
    And I choose President Obama.

    It is very clear that Mr. Romney is not ready for the complexities of US foreign policy.

    Worse, it appears that Mr. Romney’s ill-conceived and aggressive stance re events in Libya was in response to right wing goading by the likes of Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh.

    Do we honestly want our nation’s foreign policy dictated by talk radio hosts?

    This week, Mr. Romney effectively disqualified himself from the office of the presidency.

  3. The fact of the matter remains that the statement was issued in an effort to cool tensions and prevent violence against the American staff at the embassy. The fact that Mr. Romney would politicize an effort to protect the safety of Americans and head off violence that ultimately led to their own injury and deaths, is disgusting.

    Pres. Obama and Sec. of State Clinton have worked hard to re-open communications with other countries around the world after nearly a decade of foreign policy that sidelined anyone who wasn’t America or a powerful ally. There have also been rallies in Benghazi in support of America, decrying the violence of those extremist activists, which I would say is a direct testament to current American foreign policy. While the violent protesters are certainly to blame for their actions, the filmmakers who made this movie with the full knowledge of the potential repercussions to the safety and even lives of Americans working for US interests abroad share blame and their actions are shameful and repugnant.

  4. People outside the box with no facts have too much too say. What would Romney have done if he was on the ground inside that embassy?

    The film that that had the protestors riled up has only recently been translated and if the report is true that 100 American Jews financed that film it begs the question…Freedom of Speech..or trying to affect the outcome of the election on behalf of Romny and Israel? If you think bombing Iran will be the end then you are in for quite a surprise. Russia will stand with Iran, the cold war will be resurrected and get very hot, the arms race will fire up and Iran will fight to the last man, and Israel will take the brunt of it…are you ready to send your kids into that battle? My kids are coming home.

  5. New Obama/Biden bumper sticker: “US Ambassador is dead GM is alive”. The world is on fire thanks to the ameteur in chief!! Foreign policy is his strength ?? Also, these events just doomed Hillary for 2016 and beyond. Wasn’t Barry’s Cairo speech in 2009 marvelous….

  6. Has anyone asked Mr. Romney to point to the specific apology in the embassy’s statement? Has anyone asked him to point to the specific language that he feels constituted support for the attackers? This man is a disaster and an embarrassment, to the depths of Sarah Palin.

  7. What’s with the “THEIR”? If, after the disaster in Egypt and Libya people aren’t convinced that Obama’s policies, both foreign and domestic, are dangerous and a total disaster, then we deserve whatever horrible things happen to us in the future.

  8. Sure Romney – while they were UNDER ATTACK, I’m sure their priority was getting their website straight. Callous arrogant evil man.

  9. 2nd paragraph: “That statement stayed out THEIR on their website…” and later ” And even after THEIR was a death…” . If the folks on Romney’s campaign are as sloppy with spelling and grammar as they are with advice, this ticket is in incompetent hands. Gertrude Stein said it, not me: There is no there there.

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