good morning Americans woke up this morning with tragic news and felt heavy hearts as they considered that individuals that served in our diplomatic core were brutally murdered across the world. This attack on American individuals and embassies is outrageous it’s disgusting it breaks the hearts of all of us who think of these people who have served during their lives the cause of freedom and justice and honor. We mourn their loss and join together in prayer that the spirit of the almighty might comfort the families of those who have been so brutally slain. Four diplomats lost their life including the US ambassador Jay Christopher Stevens in the attack in our embassy in Benghazi Libya and of course with these words I extend my condolences to the grieving loved ones who have left behind as a result of these who have lost their lives in service to our nation. I know that the people across America are grateful for their service and we mourn their sacrifice .America will not tolerate attacks against our citizens and our embassies. We’ll defend also our constitutional rights of speech and assembly and religion. We have confidence in our cause of America. We respect our constitution. We stand for the principles our constitution protects. We encourage our nations to understand and respect the principles of our constitution because we recognize that these principles are the ultimate source of freedom for individuals around the world. I also believe the administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt instead of condemning their actions. It’s never too early for The United States government to condemn attacks on Americans and to defend our values. The White House distance last night from the statement saying it wasn’t cleared by Washington and that reflects the mixed signals their sending to the world. The attacks in Libya and Egypt underscore that the world remains a dangerous place and that America leadership is still sorely needed. In the face of this violence America cannot shrink for the responsibility to lead. America leadership is necessary to ensure that events in the region don’t spin out of control. We cannot hesitate to use of influence in the region to support those who share our values and our interest. Over the last several years we’ve stood witness to an Arab Spring that presents an opportunity for a more peaceful and prosperous region but it also possess the potential for peril if the voices of extremism and violence are allowed to control the course of events we must strive to ensure that the Arab Spring does not become an Arab Winter.
Q1 – The statement last night was strong do you regret the wording
Romney – The embassy in Cairo put out a statement after their grounds had been breached. Protestors were inside the grounds they reiterated that statement after the breach. I think it’s a (long pause) terrible course for America to stand in apology for our values. That instead when our grounds are being attacked and being breached that the first response of The United States must be outrage and the breach of the sovereignty of our nation. An apology for America’s values is never the right course
Q2 – Jan – Weighing in while the crisis is unfolding
Romney – The white house also issued a statement saying it tried to distance itself from those comments and said they were not reflecting of their views. I had the exact same reaction. These views were inappropriate, they were the wrong course to take when our embassy has been breached by protesters. the first response should not be to say yes we stand by our comments that suggest that there’s something wrong with the right of free speech.
Jan: what did the white house do wrong –
Romney: Their administration spoke. The president takes responsibility not just for the words that come from his mouth but also the words that come from his ambassadors from his administration for his embassies for his state department state department. They clearly sent mixed messages to the world and the statement that came from the administration and the embassy is the administration, the statement that came from the administration was a statement which is akin to apology and I think was a severe miscalculation.
reporter: talking about mixed signals isn’t this a mixed signal when you criticize the administration — [ inaudible ].
Romney: We have a campaign for presidency in the united states and they are speaking about the different courses we would each take with regards to the challenges the world faces. The president and I have differences of opinion with regards to Israel and our policies there and with regards to Iran and with regards to Afghanistan with regards to Syria. We have many places of distinction and differences. We join together in the condemnation of attacks on American embassies and the loss of American life and joined in the sympathy for these people, but it’s also important for me just as it was for The White House lat night, by the way, to say that the statements were inappropriate, and in my view, a disgraceful statement on the part of our administration to apologize for American values.
reporter: some people said you jumped the gun a little inputting the statement out last night and you should have waited until more details were available. do you regret having that statement come out so early before we learned about all the things that were happening?
Romney: I don’t think that we ever hesitate when we see something which is a violation of our principles. We express immediately when we feel that the President and his administration have done something, which is inconsistent with the principles of America. Simply put, having an embassythat is has been breached and has protesters on its grounds, having violated the sovereignty for The United States and having that embassy reiterate a statement effectively apologizing for the right of free speech is not the right course for an administration.
reporter: if you had known last night that the ambassador died, and I am gathering you did not know –
Romney: Well, that came later.
reporter: if you had known that the –
Romney: I am not going to take hypothetical’s about what would have been known and so forth we responded last night to the events that happened in Egypt.
reporter: Your economic know how is your main reason for running. Now with the foreign policy has been trust into the Presidential Campaign why are you better qualified that President Obama to handle these issues.
Romney: I think president Obama has demonstrated a lack of clarity as to the foreign policy. my foreign policy has three fundamental branches. first, confidence in our cause. a recognition that the principles America was based upon are not something we shrink from or apologize for. That we stand for those principles. the second is clarity in our purpose, which is that when we have a foreign policy objective we describe it honestly and clearly to the American people, to congress and to the people of the world. and number three, is resolve in our might? That in those rare circumstances, those rare circumstances where we decide it’s essential for us to apply military might that we do so with overwhelming force, and that we do so in the clarity of a mission, understanding the nature of the U.S. interests involved, and understanding when the mission would be complete, what would be left when it is — what would be left behind us when that mission has been terminated. these elements, I believe, are essential to our foreign policy and I have not seen them from the president. as I watched over the past 3 1/2 years, the president has had some successes, he’s had some failures, and it’s a hit or miss approach, but it has not been based upon sound, foreign policy.
reporter: how specifically, governor Romney would a President Romney have handled this.
Romney: I spoke out when the key fact that I referred to was known, which was that the embassy of The United States issued what appeared to be an apology for American principles, that was a mistake. I believe when a mistake was made of that significance, you speak out. Thank you.