See below — just sent out from the President Obama campaign:


STATEMENT: The American People Deserve Better from Mitt Romney


Chicago, IL—Obama for America spokeswoman Lis Smith released the following statement in response to Mitt Romney’s political attacks regarding Libya tonight at an event in North Carolina:


“Mitt Romney will stoop to any level to score cheap political points. From the time of the attack in Libya, Mitt Romney has stopped at nothing to politicize these events – and he wasted no time in proving that point in North Carolina today. While President Obama has been focused on getting the facts, finding the terrorists responsible, and bringing them to justice, Mitt Romney has attempted to use the tragedy to his political advantage. Every time Mitt Romney has tried to prove he’s ready to be commander-in-chief, he has failed miserably – embarrassing himself and alienating our closest ally during his foreign trip, calling Russia our top foe without presenting any plan to deal with al-Qaeda, and rushing to launch a political attack against the President on the Libya tragedy before he knew all the facts. The American people deserve better from someone auditioning to be Commander-in-Chief.”


What independent news organizations and Republicans have had to say about Romney’s politicization of the tragedy in Libya:




Associated Press Headline: “Fact Check: Romney Misstates Facts On Attacks.” [Associated Press, 9/13/12]


Washington Post Headline: “Fact-Checkers Say No To Romney ‘Apology’ Claims.” [Erik Wemple, Washington Post, 9/13/12]


Washington Post Headline: “Mitt Romney Has Mess To Clean Up After Falsely Accusing Obama On Libya.” [Dana Milbank, Washington Post, 9/12/12]


Reuters Headline: “Romney’s Account Of Egypt Embassy Attack Flawed.” [Reuters, 9/12/12]


Washington Post Headline: “Romney Owes An Apology.” [Ruth Marcus, Washington Post, 9/13/12]


CNN Headline: “Romney Camp Tries To Manage Fallout From Libya Response.” [CNN, 9/12/12]




Boston Globe Headline: “Romney’s Comments Raise Doubts About His Foreign-Policy Savvy.” [Editorial, Boston Globe, 9/13/12]


Washington Post Headline: “Romney Is No Statesman On Libya And Egypt.” [Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post, 9/12/12]


Talking Points Memo Headline: “When You Learn They’re Not Ready.” [Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo, 9/12/12]


The New Republic Headline: “Former Romney Adviser On Libya: ‘They Stepped In It.’” [The New Republic, 9/12/12]




Los Angeles Times Headline: “Romney’s Opportunism.” [Editorial, Los Angeles Times, 9/13/12]


New York Magazine Headline: “Mitt Romney Clarifies That He Simultaneously Agrees and Disagrees With Obama’s Position on Cairo Embassy Attack” [New York Magazine, 9/12/12]


Washington Post Headline: “Mitt Romney’s Opportunistic, Incoherent Attack.” [Greg Sargent, Washington Post, 9/12/12]


Washington Post Headline: “Mr. Romney’s Rhetoric On Embassy Attacks Is A Discredit To His Campaign.” [Editorial, Washington Post, 9/12/12]


Washington Post Headline: “Romney Hits New Low In Libya Remarks.” [Eugene Robinson, Washington Post, 9/13/12]


NBC Headline: “First Thoughts: Over The Top.” [NBC, First Read, 9/12/12]




Former Bush Deputy Secretary Of State Richard Armitage: Romney “Will Find Out That First Reports From The Battlefield Are Always Incorrect. This Should Be His Mantra, So He Can Speak In A Deliberate Manner, And Not Have To Repent At His Leisure Later.” [Bloomberg, 9/13/12]


Former McCain Advisor Anthony Cordesmann: Romney’s Remarks Were “The Worst Possible Reaction To What Happened” – “We Need To Be Extremely Cautious About Rushing Out And Politicizing It.” “The early reviews on Romney’s handling of the episode were not glowing. Former New Hampshire Sen. John Sununu, a Republican, told reporters that Romney ‘should have waited’ to release the statement. Others were more critical. ‘It is a natural product of the election, but it is the worst possible reaction to what happened,’ said Anthony Cordesman, a Republican foreign policy expert who has advised John McCain. ‘We need to be extremely cautious about rushing out and politicizing it.’” [Time, 9/12/12]


Republican Strategist Ed Rogers: “At This Solemn, Serious Moment, Mitt Romney Had To Be Crisp And Precise. He Was Neither. At Times, Romney Jumbled His Words And Appeared To Be Winging It. The President Had To Display Stature And Resolve. He Did Both.” [Ed Rogers, Washington Post, 9/12/12]


Former Bush Official Nicholas Burns Op-Ed: Romney’s Statements Were “So Reckless And Irresponsible That It Prompts The Inevitable Question: What Kind Of Commander-In-Chief Would He Be?” “Crises often reveal the true nature and also the limitations of our leaders. Romney’s statements, made with incomplete understanding of the facts on the ground, represent the worst of our sound-bite-driven politics. He should have issued a strong statement of support for our diplomats in the fight against terrorism and refrained from commenting on what he could not understand sitting outside the government as our two diplomatic outposts were being attacked. Instead, he made an already bad situation even worse. In fact, his statements were so reckless and irresponsible that it prompts the inevitable question: What kind of commander-in-chief would he be?” [Nicholas Burns op-ed, Boston Globe, 9/13/12]


· Nicholas Burns Op-Ed: “Romney’s Real Problem Is His Slim National Security Credentials Compared With Obama’s Much More Substantial And Impressive Record.” [Nicholas Burns op-ed, Boston Globe, 9/13/12]



Former McCain Advisor Mark Salter: Romney And Palin’s Criticism Of Obama “Is As Tortured In Its Reasoning As It Is Unseemly In Its Timing.” “In the wake of this violence, the rush by Republicans — including Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and scores of other conservative critics — to condemn him for policies they claim helped precipitate the attacks is as tortured in its reasoning as it is unseemly in its timing.” [Mark Salter Op-Ed, Real Clear Politics, 9/12/12]


· Mark Salter: The Embassy Statement Was “Inartfully Worded And Its Timing Misguided.” “The embassy statement was inartfully worded and its timing misguided, and it should have explained that freedom of speech is an essential right in a genuinely free society, which suffers expressions of deplorable beliefs in order to protect inoffensive speech — for example, the right to proselytize on behalf of your religion. It should also have insisted that the government of Egypt meet its responsibility as host country to protect our embassy and the lives of our diplomats from attack.” [Mark Salter Op-Ed, Real Clear Politics, 9/12/12]



Former Reagan Speechwriter Peggy Noonan: “In Times When Something Violent Has Happened To Your People, I Always Think Discretion Is The Better Way To Go.” NOONAN: “I was thinking as he spoke, I think I belong to the old school of thinking that in times of great drama and heightened crisis, and in times when something violent has happen to your people, I always think discretion is the better way to go.” [America’s Newsroom, Fox News, 9/12/12]


Buzzfeed: Former Bush State Department Official: “It Wasn’t Presidential Of Romney To Go Political Immediately — A Tragedy Of This Magnitude Should Be Something The Nation Collectively Grieves Before Politics Enters The Conversation.” [Buzzfeed, 9/12/12]


Buzzfeed: Former McCain 2008 Campaign Aide On Romney Statement On Embassy Attack: “Not Ready For Primetime.” [Buzzfeed, 9/12/12]


Buzzfeed: Republican Source On Romney Statement: “I Guess We See Now That It Is Because They’re Incompetent At Talking Effectively About Foreign Policy. This Is Just Unbelievable — When They Decide To Play On It They Completely Bungle It.” [Buzzfeed, 9/12/12]


Buzzfeed: Former Bush State Department Official: “It Wasn’t Presidential Of Romney To Go Political Immediately — A Tragedy Of This Magnitude Should Be Something The Nation Collectively Grieves Before Politics Enters The Conversation.” [Buzzfeed, 9/12/12]


Buzzfeed Reported Senior Republican Foreign Policy Expert Describing Romney’s Statements As “Trying To Score A Cheap News Cycle Hit,” An “Utter Disaster” And A “Lehman Moment.” “’They were just trying to score a cheap news cycle hit based on the embassy statement and now it’s just completely blown up,’ said a very senior Republican foreign policy hand, who called the statement an ‘utter disaster’ and a ‘Lehman moment’ — a parallel to the moment when John McCain, amid the 2008 financial crisis, failed to come across as a steady leader.” [Buzzfeed, 9/12/12]


Former Bush Adviser Said Romney’s Response To The Protests In Libya Seemed Like “He Had Forgotten The First Rule In A Crisis: Don’t Start Talking Before You Understand What’s Happening.” “For a country looking to understand how Mr. Romney, a Republican candidate with no foreign policy experience, would respond to a major crisis, this was a first glimpse. And as an adviser to the campaign who worked in the George W. Bush administration said on Wednesday, Mr. Romney’s accusation that Mr. Obama had invited the attacks because he had weakened America looked like ‘he had forgotten the first rule in a crisis: don’t start talking before you understand what’s happening.’” [New York Times, 9/12/12]


Realists In The Republican Part Were “Appalled” By Romney’s Comments: “Seems Mainly Designed For Tactical Advantage. I Haven’t Seen Anything To Suggest That He Has A Strategy Of His Own.” “Some realists in the Republican Party did pay close attention and were appalled. ‘I don’t know on foreign policy how developed a worldview he has. I can’t characterize it,’ said the prominent realist. ‘Candidates always want to get elected. You haven’t heard from him the articulation of an alternative foreign policy as much as selective criticisms of Obama.’ Romney’s response, the adviser said, ‘seems mainly designed for tactical advantage. I haven’t seen anything to suggest that he has a strategy of his own.’” [Washington Post, 9/13/12]




Boston Globe Editorial: “Romney’s Actions Raise More Doubts About Himself Than Obama.” [Editorial, Boston Globe, 9/13/12]


· Boston Globe Editorial: Romney’s Statement On The Embassy Attacks Had “Terrible” Timing And Were “Offensive On Many Other Levels.” “A chorus of critics, including some conservatives, has since condemned the Republican presidential nominee for launching a political attack in the midst of a crisis. And Romney’s timing was, indeed, terrible. But his statement was offensive on many other levels.” [Editorial, Boston Globe, 9/13/12]



· Boston Globe Editorial: “Romney Was Wrong On The Facts.” “Romney was wrong on the facts. The alleged expression of sympathy was issued not by President Obama or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but by the US embassy in Cairo, in response to protests in Egypt. It came before protesters had breached the walls of the Cairo embassy, and before any reports of deaths in Libya.” [Editorial, Boston Globe, 9/13/12]



Los Angeles Times Editorial: Romney Attempted To “Capitaliz[e] On The Attack” In An “Outrageous Exercise In Opportunism.” “In reacting to the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and some Republican members of Congress appropriately focused on mourning the dead and honoring their patriotism. Mitt Romney thinks he has a better idea: capitalizing on the attack to shore up his dubious campaign narrative that Obama is soft on radical Islam and apologetic about American values. It’s an outrageous exercise in opportunism.” [Editorial, Los Angeles Times, 9/13/12]


· Los Angeles Times Editorial: “In Mixing Sympathy With Specious Attacks And Self-Promotion, Romney Has Diminished Himself.” [Editorial, Los Angeles Times, 9/13/12]



Fox News’ Juan Williams: “People Thought That Maybe Mitt Romney Was A Little Quick To Inject Politics Into The Situation.” WILLIAMS: “Well, in terms of the deaths, John, I think that every American, I don’t think your political stripe much matters here, regrets that an American ambassador would be killed in this situation. After all the United States did to help liberate Libya from Gaddafi. I don’t think that anybody disagrees with that. As for the politics of it, that’s why people thought that maybe Mitt Romney was a little quick to inject politics into the situation especially with regard to what had happened in Egypt yesterday.” [Happening Now, Fox News, 9/12/12]


· Fox News’ Juan Williams: Romney Could Be Accused Of “Trying To Beat The Drums Of War A Little Bit Prematurely.” WILLIAMS: “But, overall, I think people want a sense of strength coming from the White House, not weakness, not apology and I think from Romney there is the fear that he would be too bellicose or too political and could be accused of, you know, trying to beat the drums of war a little bit prematurely.” [Happening Now, Fox News, 9/12/12]



New York Times Editorial: While Romney Wanted To Show Americans He Can Be President, His Response To The Attacks In Libya “Showed An Extraordinary Lack Of Presidential Character By Using The Murders Of The Americans In Libya As An Excuse Not Just To Attack Mr. Obama, But To Do So In A Way That Suggested Either A Dangerous Ignorance Of The Facts Or An Equally Dangerous Willingness To Twist Them To His Narrow Partisan Aims.” “President Obama’s statement of outrage and his vow to bring the killers to justice received bipartisan support, including from politicians otherwise committed to partisan warfare, like the House speaker, John Boehner, and the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, who rarely misses a chance to attack Mr. Obama. But not from Mitt Romney, who wants Americans to believe he can be president but showed an extraordinary lack of presidential character by using the murders of the Americans in Libya as an excuse not just to attack Mr. Obama, but to do so in a way that suggested either a dangerous ignorance of the facts or an equally dangerous willingness to twist them to his narrow partisan aims.” [Editorial, New York Times, 9/12/12]


MSNBC’s John Heilemann: “It’s A Pretty Clear Window Into Areas Of His Leadership Ability, Character, Temperament That I Think A Lot Of Voters Should And Maybe Will Find Really Troubling And Disturbing.” HEILEMANN: “I don’t know if it’s the moment that, quote, ‘Mitt Romney lost the election’ but it’s a pretty clear window into areas of his leadership ability, character, temperament that I think a lot of voters should and maybe will find really troubling and really disturbing.” [Now With Alex Wagner, MSNBC, 9/12/12]


Los Angeles Times Editorial: “In Mixing Sympathy With Specious Attacks And Self-Promotion, Romney Has Diminished Himself.” [Editorial, Los Angeles Times, 9/13/12]


The Hill’s Pundit’s Blog: “The Romney-Ryan Ticket Is The Least Qualified Ticket, On Matters Of Military Security And Foreign Policy, In The Modern History Of American Presidential Campaigns.” “The situation in the Middle East is volatile. These are matters that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan know nothing about. Romney is one of the least qualified commander-in-chief candidates in the modern history of presidential nominees. Ryan is one of the least qualified commander-in-chief candidates in the modern history of vice presidential nominees. The Romney-Ryan ticket is the least qualified ticket, on matters of military security and foreign policy, in the modern history of American presidential campaigns.” [The Hill, Pundit’s Blog, 9/12/12]


Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson: “Romney’s Rushed Statement Tuesday Night Calling Obama’s Administration’s Response To The Violence ‘Disgraceful’ Was A New Low In A Campaign Already Scraping The Bottom.” “Romney’s rushed statement Tuesday night calling the Obama administration’s response to the violence ‘disgraceful’ was a new low in a campaign already scraping bottom. And Romney’s subsequent decision to double down on the attack, even as Americans mourned the first killing of an ambassador since 1979 and officials began investigating what now looks like a well-planned terrorist attack . . . well, I guess this whole performance says a lot about what kind of man Romney is.” [Eugene Robinson, Washington Post, 9/13/12]


New York Daily News’ The Rumble Blog: Romney’s Response Was “A Political Assault That Is Craven, Dishonest And Shameless All At Once.” “So put that all together and you have a political assault that is craven, dishonest and shameless all at once.” [The Rumble blog, New York Daily News, 9/12/12]


Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall: Romney’s Response To The Attacks In Libya Was “Rash And Shameful. Not Worthy Of A President. Crass, Undignified And Troubling On Many Levels.” “Politics is hardball. Everything is, in some sense, fair. But campaigns are also a prism into the judgment and steadiness under pressure of a person who would be president. This was amateur hour for the opposition campaign last night, reminiscent of John McCain’s rash call four years ago to cancel the presidential debates and the campaign itself to deal with the unfolding economic crisis. There was nothing ignoble or dishonorable about McCain’s suggestion. It just showed a certain rashness that was widely viewed as unpresidential. Romney’s moment was quite different — rash and shameful. Not worthy of a president. Crass, undignified and troubling on many levels.” [Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo, 9/12/12]


Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall: “Romney’s Attack Was Not Only Ill-Judged And Ill-Timed, It Was Actually Based On What Appears To Be A Demonstrable Falsehood.” “Romney’s attack was not only ill-judged and ill-timed, it was actually based on what appears to be a demonstrable falsehood. Romney, or folks writing in his name at his campaign, claimed that the administration’s first response to the attacks was to issue a press release condemning the anti-Islam film which had helped trigger the attack. This they picked wholesale from the right-wing blogosphere.” [Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo, 9/12/12]


US News’ Robert Schlesinger: “Romney’s Foreign Policy Is Much Like His Domestic Policy: Light On Details But Apparently A Retread Of The Same Stuff That Didn’t Work Out So Well The First Couple Of Times We Tried Them.” [US News, 9/14/12]


Washington Post’s Ezra Klein: “Romney’s Comments [On Libya And Egypt] Were, To Be Sure, Unusually Noxious And Indecent.” “Romney’s comments were, to be sure, unusually noxious and indecent. But this is also what happens when campaigns get desperate. Like a gambler who’s already lost too much, they begin taking risks in the hope of making it all back. And then, more often than not, they pay the price.” [Ezra Klein, Washington Post, 9/12/12]


Slate’s Fred Kaplan: The Events In The Middle East “Have Highlighted Just How Stunningly Unready Mitt Romney Is For Prime Time.” “Third and finally, these events have highlighted just how stunningly unready Mitt Romney is for prime time—how little he understands the business of being president or, for that matter, holding any post of national leadership in American politics.” [Fred Kaplan, Slate, 9/12/12]


New York Daily News’ Denis Hamill On Romney’s Statement: “Awful. Political, Exploitative, Opportunistic.” [Denis Hamill, New York Daily News, 9/12/12]






Lis Smith

Obama for America