Romney Blasts Obama on Cairo Embassy Apology

National Journal

After saying earlier that Sept. 11 was not the day to criticize President Obama on foreign policy matters, Mitt Romney late Tuesday issued a statement blasting the Obama administration for its Cairo embassy’s apology for anti-Muslim activity in the United States.

The U.S. embassy had put out a statement early Tuesday that apologized for an anti-Muslim video being promoted by Gainesville, Fla. pastor Terry Jones, who earlier had threatened to burn more than 200 copies of the Koran. The video reportedly mocks Islam's founding prophet Muhammed -- a view that seemed certain to rile Muslims.

"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," the embassy said in the statement, which was published online. The White House later sought to distance itself from that statement, according to Politico.

Romney, in his statement, said he was “outraged” by attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and 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,” Romney said.

The Obama campaign responded early Wednesday morning, lambasting Romney for bringing politics into a tragedy.

“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," Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement.

Romney has frequently accused Obama of traveling the world apologizing for America and published a book in 2010, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness. However, the Republican nominee’s accusation that his rival “began his presidency with an apology tour” earned him a “Pants On Fire” rating from PolitFact -- the fact-checking site’s lowest ranking for truthfulness.

Several Republicans aligned with Mitt Romney attacked Obama over his foreign policy actions on Tuesday, from Sen. John McCain on Syria to former Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Iran.

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