Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Mitt Romney shoots off his Foot-In-Mouth Disease… again.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, September 12, 2012

There are so many hilarious headlines that could be written.

What an utter idiot.

The Secret Service can protect him from others, but they can’t protect Mitt from his own political suicide.

More signs of President Obama’s re-election.

Oh… and be certain to read the comments following the story.

Romney’s statement perfectly undiplomatic

Mitt Romney makes remarks on the attack on the US consulate in Libya (Reuters)September 12,
2012 6:41 pm, by Edward Luce

There are moments that can indelibly brand a politician and Mitt Romney may just have met his.

U.S. Republican presidential nominee Romney makes remarks on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, in Jacksonville, Florida

U.S. Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney makes remarks on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, in Jacksonville, Florida September 12, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)

The alacrity – and brittle certainty – with which the Republican nominee responded to the violence against US diplomats on Tuesday night offers a snapshot of why his candidacy has failed to attract true believers. On Wednesday morning, Hillary Clinton read out a sombre statement condemning the killing of Chris Stevens, the US ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans. Forty minutes later, Barack Obama followed suit. Both focused on Mr Stevens’ tragic death.

In between Mr Romney squeezed in an openly political press conference in which he called the Obama administration’s response “disgraceful” and said it “should never apologise for America.” His condolences were brief and dutiful. The exercise was based on the strained allegation that Mr Obama had sought to mollify the protestors in Egypt (the US embassy in Cairo issued a statement that had not been approved by the White House).

In a race between two more evenly matched candidates, Tuesday night’s significance would have been to inject a foreign policy dimension into an almost wholly domestic campaign. That may be one outcome. But Mr Romney has converted the attacks into a story about how he sought to make electoral hay out of a moment that required the dignity of a statesman. The sheer puzzlement is unlikely to fade quickly.

Some are already comparing Mr Romney’s remarks to John McCain’s September 2008 call for a suspension of the campaign in response to the financial market meltdown. It struck an unflattering contrast to the projected calmness of “no drama Obama.” Mr McCain’s campaign never recovered. Wednesday’s contrasting profiles was eerily similar. In spite of the hastily arranged backdrop, Mr Romney has never seemed so unpresidential. He looks perilously close to losing his grip on this election.

The biggest question mark is over Mr Romney’s judgment. His campaign issued its first statement on Tuesday night after the Cairo embassy was stormed. Several hours later, Mr Stevens’ death was announced. Instead of recalibrating, the Romney campaign raised the stakes with a press conference. Mr Romney’s instinct was to show that Mr Obama is out of tune with public sentiment. It boomeranged.

Second, Mr Romney’s response showed how easily he is blown off message. Unless a world war breaks out, the 2012 election will stay dominated by the economy. On every other issue, including national security, Mr Obama outpolls his rival. Mr Romney’s only road to the White House goes through Florida and Ohio – not Jerusalem.

And third, his response misread the public mood. The 2012 campaign may well be the first in a generation where a national security crisis could benefit the Democrat rather than the Republican. In a poll this week by the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, two-thirds of Americans said the Iraq war was not worth fighting. Mr Romney seems to think America wants to re-elect George W. Bush. Whatever else can be said about the spirit of 2012, that is clearly a bad call.


http://blogs.ft.com/the-world/2012/09/romneys-diplomacy-statement-perfectly-undiplomatic/

Comments (6)
Post your own comment

 Wah lao | September 12 7:31pm | Permalink

Exactly the mood of the moderate electorate.

 PAUL MYERS | September 12 7:33pm | Permalink

What did you expect? In the 19760s when millions of young men in his age group served in the military and in Vietnam, Romney turned tail and ran to be a missionary in France, getting a special draft deferment unavailable to most other Americans because of his family connections in Michigan (this morning’s NYT article on Romney and the Vietnam era).

And it was all on disgraceful view today in his press conference. If you want chicken-crap leadership, go for the chicken-crap resume.

 WendellMurray | September 12 7:38pm | Permalink

Typical of Mr. Romney and his campaign advisors however, so this sort of thing will only get worse between now the USA presidential election in early November.

All Mr. Romney has done in his 6 years of campaigning for the USA presidency is (1) lie about everything and (2) pander to any and all extremist groups whose approval he thinks that he needs for election.

Mr. Romney in this campaigning displays no principles or firm convictions about anything. Every utterance and action appears to be targeted for some assumed momentary political gain.

As the article notes, these shameful and shameless action and statement are impossible for anyone to view positively, except perhaps among the ever-present group in the USA for whom no amount of idiotic war-mongering and war-mongering language is sufficient.

 dh from texas | September 12 7:57pm | Permalink

Reported by the NY Times today:

” “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,” Mr. Romney said in a statement that went out just before 10:30 p.m. “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.”

He was referring to the embassy statement condemning an American-made Web film denouncing Islam that was the catalyst for the violence. However, the embassy’s statement was released in an effort to head off the violence, not after the attacks, as Mr. Romney’s statement implied.”

So, Romney is wrong not just because he attributes Embassy communication to the President, but also because this communication took place prior to the attack.

This is cheap, low, shabby behavior on Romney’s part. He should be standing with the President and all other Americans today, not trying to score political points with grossly distorted statements.

 Realist 49 | September 12 8:04pm | Permalink

I now believe that the lesser of two evils is the re-election of Barack Obama in November. Romney is good at one thing: how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

 Chris3726 | September 12 8:07pm | Permalink

It would be nice if the writer actually lived in the US.
Romney was right on in his remark and they sounded clear, concise, and presidential.
Obama waited until 11am to issue a bland statement.
Surprising how he was so quick to condemn in other issues (and have a beer later).
Enough is enough with this self-defeating tolerance.
Reminds me all too much of the last days of the Carter regime.

Blasting Obama on Libya and Egypt, Romney accused of opportunism

Photo8:44pm EDT
By John Whitesides

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For Mitt Romney, it began late Tuesday as an aggressive effort to criticize President Barack Obama’s policies in Egypt and Libya by portraying the administration as apologetic while mobs attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and the embassy in Cairo.

By the end of the day on Wednesday, Romney’s venture into a fast-moving foreign policy crisis that involved the slayings of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other diplomats had become a public relations debacle for the Republican’s presidential campaign.

Obama ridiculed Romney as someone who has a tendency to “shoot first and aim later,” and even fellow Republicans were saying Romney’s attempt to spark a legitimate debate on Obama’s policies could be seen as unsavory political opportunism.

Romney injected himself into the affair late Tuesday by blasting a statement by the U.S. embassy in Cairo in which U.S. officials criticized an anti-Islamic video that was leading to protests in Cairo, Benghazi and other Arab cities.

The embassy’s statement was an apparent attempt to ease tensions in Cairo before protesters got out of hand. Later in the day, however, the protesters stormed the embassy walls and tore down the embassy’s U.S. flag.

That was about the time that Romney, back in the United States, cited the embassy’s pre-assault statement and said it was “disgraceful” that the Obama administration’s first instinct in the Cairo episode had been to sympathize with the mob that attacked the embassy.

Romney reiterated that criticism to reporters on Wednesday morning – even after the scope of the attacks was clear in Cairo and in Benghazi, where U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others were killed.

“The first response of the United States must be outrage at the breach of the sovereignty of our nation, and apology for American values is never the right course,” Romney said at a news conference in Jacksonville, Florida, still pushing the mistaken idea that the Cairo embassy’s statement had been issued after the protesters had attacked the embassy.

Obama responded on Wednesday afternoon in an interview with CBS News, saying there was “a broader lesson” to be learned from Romney’s comments.

“Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later,” said Obama, whose administration distanced itself from the Cairo embassy’s statement even as it emphasized that Romney had misunderstood when the statement had been issued.

“As president,” Obama added, “one of the things I’ve learned is you can’t do that. That it’s important for you to make sure that the statements you make are backed up by the facts.”

Asked whether he thought Romney’s comments were irresponsible, Obama said: “I’ll let the American people judge that.”

Romney’s remarks drew criticism from foreign policy analysts, Democrats and even some Republicans for breaking a longstanding tradition of rallying around a president at a time of crisis. Many also accused Romney of being too quick to try to make a political point out of what turned out to be a tragedy.

“They probably should have waited,” former Republican senator John E. Sununu of New Hampshire said on MSNBC. “You look at the way things unfolded, you look at the timing of it, they probably should have waited.”

‘DOING HIMSELF NO FAVORS’

Romney’s insistence on criticizing Obama’s administration over Wednesday’s events had Democrats recalling the Republican’s gaffes during a trip abroad in July, and Republicans cringing at what many saw as a botched chance to raise questions about the effectiveness of Obama’s policies in the Middle East.

Republican Peggy Noonan, a former speech writer for President Ronald Reagan and a Wall Street Journal columnist, said on Fox News that Romney was leaving himself open to accusations that he had exploited the attacks for political gain.

“I don’t feel that Mr. Romney has been doing himself any favors in the past few hours,” she 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.”

Running slightly behind Obama in opinion polls ahead of the November 6 election, Romney is under pressure to polish his foreign policy and national security credentials after his series of blunders during the July trip.

At that time, Romney angered Britons with questions about London’s readiness to host the Olympic Games and Palestinians with comments about their culture differences with Israel.

At the Republican National Convention last month, he drew criticism for not mentioning the war in Afghanistan during the speech in which he accepted the party’s presidential nomination.

SOME SUPPORT FOR ROMNEY

Obama opted for a cautious strategy in the series of Arab Spring uprisings that shook the Middle East last year. He steered clear of a dominant role for the U.S. military and drew criticism from Republicans at home for a lack of forceful leadership.

Several analysts said on Wednesday that Romney had fumbled his opportunity to attack Obama for first encouraging the overthrow of authoritarian leaders in Libya and Egypt and then failing to stem the growing tide of anti-U.S. Islamists.

“In every way, what has been happening is a reflection of the Obama administration’s unwillingness to engage in serious U.S. policy throughout the region,” said Danielle Pletka, of the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “We have no coherent policy in the Middle East.”

Obama steered clear of the political storm over Egypt and Libya during an appearance on Wednesday with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the White House, calling the attacks “outrageous and shocking” and pledging to work with the Libyan government to ensure justice was done.

Some Republicans tried to rally around Romney, and by extension his version of Wednesday’s events.

“Governor Romney is absolutely right, there is no justification for these deadly attacks and we should never apologize for American freedom,” U.S. Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina said.

Reince Preibus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said on Twitter on Tuesday night that “Obama sympathizes with attackers in Egypt. Sad and pathetic.”

Anthony Cordesman, a military analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, cautioned against political overreactions to foreign events.

“It may be the duty of an opposition candidate to criticize and challenge, but not at the cost of America’s strategic interests, lasting relations with key nations in the Middle East, or somehow making this an issue that puts Christian against Muslim or the West against the Arab world,” he said.

The protests in Libya and Egypt came on Tuesday as Obama spoke for an hour with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with the two leaders believed to be at odds over whether to launch a pre-emptive attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Romney met Netanyahu during his foreign trip in July and has talked tough against Iran as he seeks to court Jewish-American voters who traditionally support Democrats.

While Romney has been critical of Obama’s approach on Iran, he has not spelled out what he would do differently.

(Additional reporting by Steve Holland and Matt Spetalnick; Editing by David Lindsey and Philip Barbara)

http://www.reuters.com/assets/print?aid=USBRE88C00R20120913

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4 Responses to “Mitt Romney shoots off his Foot-In-Mouth Disease… again.”

  1. James said

    Romney worries me. He is inept, not artful, flimsy and dangerous. Our Commander in Chief has to be logical, must exude confidence to diffuse tense situations and must not play fire or politics with precious American lives who are dedicated to the service our nation. Romney thinks and acts like he is reading a spreadsheet. For Romney, it is always, “how can I can profit from this?”, first and foremost. We cannot afford to hand the helms of government to an unstable, emotional and inconsistent flip-flopper who does not even understand the first word of public service and to whom everything is a zero sum game of profit and losses.

    • Warm Southern Breeze said

      Hi James! Thanks for stopping by, and for sharing your thoughts! I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments. One of our greatest, and most enduring allies – the British – called him “Mitt the Twit” for his international blunders while visiting the London 2012 Olympics. Why? Among other things, he publicly mentioned that he had a secret meeting with MI5 Director General Jonathan Evans … a STRICT NO-NO , more than a social faux pas, a veritable breech of national security. In my estimation, these are all indicators that President Obama will be re-elected.

  2. [...] Mitt Romney shoots off his Foot-In-Mouth Disease… again. (warmsouthernbreeze.wordpress.com) [...]

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