If there ever was any doubt that Mitt Romney is unfit to lead this nation, his ham-handed, lying, insensitive attempt to discredit Obama's response to the attacks on our consulates in Libya and Egypt proves it.
The gunfire at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, had barely ceased when Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney seriously mischaracterized what had happened in a statement accusing President Barack Obama of "disgraceful" handling of violence there and at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
"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the attacks," Romney said in a statement first emailed to reporters at 10:09 p.m. Eastern time, under the condition it not be published until midnight.
In fact, neither a statement by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo earlier in the day nor a later statement from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton offered sympathy for attackers. The statement from the Cairo Embassy had condemned anti-Muslim religious incitement before the embassy walls were breached. In her statement, issued minutes before Romney's, Clinton had offered the administration's first response to the violence in Libya, explicitly condemning the attack there and confirming the death of a State Department official.
"I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission in Benghazi today," Clinton said in a written statement received by The Associated Press at 10:08 p.m. "As we work to secure our personnel and facilities, we have confirmed that one of our State Department officers was killed. We are heartbroken by this terrible loss."
Republican Peggy Noonan said:
When you step forward in the midst of a political environment and start giving statements on something dramatic and violent that has happened, you're always leaving yourself open to accusations that you are trying to exploit things politically.
For sure. It's a fact, not an accusation, that Romney shot his mouth off without aiming first in an attempt to resurrect his faltering presidential campaign.
He criticized Obama for his "disgraceful" handling of violence at the consulates even though Obama hadn't done anything by the time Romney issued his statement, and, as noted above, the statement from the Cairo Embassy also was issued before protesters entered the grounds.
Romney has shown why he would be a horrible commander-in-chief.
He doesn't care about facts; he makes judgments impulsively without understanding the situation "on the ground"; he is focused on trying to score political points rather than doing what is best for the country and those who serve it.
Romney just dug himself an even deeper campaign hole and threw himself headfirst into it. TIME's Mark Halperin pithily wrote:
Unless the Romney campaign has gamed this crisis out in some manner completely invisible to the Gang of 500, his doubling down on criticism of the President for the statement coming out of Cairo is likely to be seen as one of the most craven and ill-advised tactical moves in this entire campaign.