Mitt Romney's camp had announced that the Republican presidential candidate would give a press conference Wednesday morning to talk about the tragedy in Libya.
Those plans were hastily scrapped and the big shindig scaled down to a brief Q & A with reporters. All the fanfare ribbons were taken down in Jacksonville, Fla, where he was campaigning. Apparently someone told him it was a bit much in light of the occasion.
But he still couldn't contain the look on his face at the opportunity he thought the killings of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others presented to him, for the rhetoric was on high, blustering blast as he took the microphone.
Is he shamelessly exploiting this tragedy for political gain--something he and his party have accused President Obama of doing for the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden?
You be the judge. Click on the video above to hear his speech, given soon after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham-Clinton held her press conference and before president Obama delivered his address on the Libyan tragedy.
Below is some of what Romney said:
"This attack on American individuals and embassies is outrageous. It's disgusting and it breaks the hearts of all of us who think that people who have served all their lives because of freedom and justice and honor. We mourn their loss and join together in pray that the spirit of the Almighty might comfort the family of those who have been so brutally slain."
"Also the administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had reached the embassy in Egypt instead of condemning their actions. it is never too early for the United States government to condemn attacks on Americans and to defend our values. The White House distanced itself last night and from the statement, saying it wasn't cleared by Washington. That reflects its mixed signals they're sending the world."
Romney also told reporters that the president has to take responsibility for his embassies and whatever press releases or statements were sent out. When asked if he had overstepped his bounds by criticizing the Obama administration while the tragic events were still unfolding, Romney didn't back down.
Even if his sharp criticism came prematurely, for the statement he slammed the White House over was released six hours before the killings at the U.S. embassy, reported NBC. In light of this, and some in his own party accusing him of jumping the gun, Romney is still refusing to counter his rhetoric.
President Obama said his opponent has a tendency to "shoot first, then aim later" and Democrat John Kerry, himself a former presidential candidate, told CNN that Romney needed to apologize, adding, "he doesn't seem to know what he is talking about."Even some Republicans say Romney did speak too soon, making him look like he was "not ready" for foreign policy decisions.
Moreover, Republicans have slammed the president for taking said responsibility when bin Laden was killed and for capitalizing politically. Talk about sending the real mixed messages; maybe the former Massachusetts governor needs to look in the mirror before he speaks?
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ADDITIONAL SOURCES AND RESOURCES:
Check out the Washington Post for Romney's Q & A with the press.
Click on link below for my earlier report on the killings at U.S. Embassy in Libya: