U.S. ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stephens, along with three staff members were killed during an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The attack was part of violent protests at both the U.S. embassy Egypt and U.S. consulate in Libya. The protests were sparked by a film critical of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.
Before the killings at the consulate in Libya, the U.S. embassy in Egypt issued a statement saying it “condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims…as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.”
Mitt Romney (although it was likely a campaign staffer) seized on this statement, falsely attributing it to the White House and ignoring that the statement was released before the killings. Mitt Romney (through a campaign statement) said:
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,” he said. “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. – Mitt Romney
In the words of Kenny Rogers, the Romney campaign needs to “know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.” In the race to capture a story and make it your own for political purposes, the Romney campaign made the mistake of not having it’s facts straight when it accused the Obama White House of sympathizing with “those who waged the attacks” when in fact the White House had not yet released an official statement following the consulate deaths.
Shame on Mitt Romney (or the staffer responsible).
Not to be outdone, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted:
Obama sympathizes with attackers in Egypt.Sad and pathetic.
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) September 12, 2012
What an ugly human being.
This article was corrected to replace “embassy” with “consulate.” The United States foreign office in Benghazi, Libya is a consulate, not an embassy.