On Wednesday, U.S. Ambassador, Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, were killed in an attack by extremist radicals in Libya.
President Obama strongly condemned the attacks as “outrageous and shocking”. He sent condolences to the families and vowed to bring the attackers to justice, but he didn’t do it fast enough to suit presidential hopeful, Governor Mitt Romney.
Romney immediately jumped on the bandwagon of petty politics and chastised the president in a series of condescending statements.
Romney, who has no foreign policy at all, referred to the president’s responses as sending “mixed signals” and to having “demonstrated a lack of clarity” on U.S. policy.
In addition, Romney called the President’s handling of protestors in Cairo “disgraceful”, based on an embassy statement not authorized by the White House and claimed it represented an “apology for American principles.”
Foreign policy experts did not agree with Romney’s choice to use the devastating circumstances in a denigrating swipe at President Obama.
P.J Crowley, former Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, was one of several officials interviewed on CNN that found Romney’s statements “unnerving” and “unfortunate”.
Other critics were stronger in their condemnation. Many see Romney’s reaction as desperate, small and peevish after polls have shown Obama ahead of Romney after the Democratic Convention—even with men.
However, Romney’s Sr. Foreign Policy Advisor, Richard Williamson, was asked repeatedly in a CNN interview if the attacks on President Obama could not have waited a respectful amount of time in view of the events.
Williamson, who exhibited the behavior of a school-yard bully, refused to answer when pressed and said it was “a silly question”, preferring instead to dominate the conversation with challenges to the timeline of the U.S. embassy statement and what he called “failed Middle-East policies” and the president’s record as a GOP perceived “apologist”.
Additionally, a few disgruntled conservatives in Congress announced today they want to strip away financial aid in an upcoming bill vote, but President Obama has already made it clear that he has no intention of blaming innocent Libyan and Egyptian people for the actions of a small group of murderous radicals.
Senator John McCain refused to comment on Romney’s rash statements, but not all Republicans were silent on his rush-to-judgment.
Peggy Noonan, former speech writer for Ronald Reagan and Washington Post columnist, said on Fox News:
“Romney did not do himself any favors, (with his derogatory comments). Sometimes when bad things happen, cool words or no words at all, are best.”
Eight weeks from the presidential election, most Democrats have come to expect self-serving and exaggerated statements from the Romney/ryan campaign, but their reaction to this level of insensitivity from someone, who aspires to be the leader of the United States, was incredulity.
“To come out and say such things, before you even know the facts, is irresponsible, callous and reckless,” said John Kerry. “I don’t think he even knows what he’s talking about.”
Meanwhile, President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice-President Joe Biden, ignored Romney’s braying and have been busy taking action.
The president reiterated that America is a nation “that respects all faiths”, but in response to the unprovoked violence in Libya, he ordered increased security at embassies around the world and the deployment of unmanned surveillance drones over Benghazi. Marine boots are already on the ground in Tripoli, while FBI agents are being readied to investigate the incident.
Critics agree the question of fairness is outweighed by the question of how a leader should respond in a crisis and Romney’s politically motivated knee-jerk reaction gives him a failing grade.
In his haste to show President Obama as a weak leader on the world stage, Romney may have put the final nail in his own limping campaign coffin.