Commenting on the Sept. 11 assault on the US Embassy in Cairo, Romney issued a statement that criticized the Obama administration’s “sympathy” for the rioters. His remark, ill-informed, was based on a tweet from the US Embassy staff sent before the attacks and not cleared by the White House.
Still, Romney doubled down on the criticism at a press conference in Jacksonville, Fla., on Sept. 12: “The administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt instead of condemning their actions,” he said. “It’s never too early for the United States government to condemn attacks on Americans and to defend our values,” he added.
Meanwhile, US ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans had been killed in an attack on the consulate in Benghazi the previous night, deepening a sense of national crisis. Democrats accused Romney of inaccurate statements that aimed to use a national crisis to try to gain a political advantage. In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes,” President Obama charged that “Governor Romney has a tendency to shoot first and aim later.”