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Mitt Romney - The Not-ready for Prime Time "Pray-er":


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Mitt Romney has proven he is definitely NOT ready for the International stage .. his insensitivity to the death of these diplomatic staffers, and Diplomat Steven, and his blatant attempt to politicize a tragedy may be the final nail in Mitt's coffin .. one can only hope. His timing in blundering into this matter like The Ugly American can only further lower his credibility.


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GOP Foreign Policy Official Eviscerates Romney


Mitt Romney's sharply-worded attack on President Obama over a pair of deadly riots in Muslim countries last night has backfired badly among foreign policy hands of both parties, who cast it as hasty and off-key, released before the facts were clear at what has become a moment of tragedy.

Romney keyed his statement to the American Embassy in Cairo's condemnation of an anti-Muslim video that served as the trigger for the latest in a series of regional riots over obscure perceived slights to the faith. But his statement — initially embargoed to avoid release on September 11, then released yesterday evening anyway — came just before news that the American

Ambassador to Libya had been killed and broke with a tradition of unity around national tragedies, and of avoiding hasty statements on foreign policy. It was the second time Romney has been burned by an early statement on a complex crisis: Romney denounced the Obama Administration's handling of a Chinese dissident's escape just as the Administration negotiated behind the scenes for his departure from the country.

"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.

He and other members of both parties cited the Romney campaign's recent dismissals of foreign policy's relevance. One adviser dismissed the subject to BuzzFeed as a "shiny object," while another told Politico that the subject was the "president's turf," drawing a rebuke from Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol.

"I guess we see now that it is because they’re incompetent at talking effectively about foreign policy," said the Republican. "This is just unbelievable — when they decide to play on it they completely bungle it."

Romney has not backed off the response — "It's never too early for the United States government to condemn attacks on Americans and to defend our values," he said Wednesday — but his campaign faces a near consensus in Republican foreign policy circles that, whatever the sentiment, Romney faltered badly.

"It’s deeply unfortunate when the circumstance of the statement becomes the story," said Rick Perry's former foreign policy adviser, Victoria Coates, who is now an adjunct fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and who suggested that Romney should simply have "gone earlier rather than save it for midnight" to avoid appearing to play politics on September 11.

"It’s unfortunate that it’s playing out this way, and hopefully they can get back on message, because their point is sound," she said.

Other conservatives were less sympathetic.

"It's bad," said a former aide to Senator John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign. "Just on a factual level that the statement was not a response but preceding, or one could make the case precipitating. And just calling it a 'disgrace' doesn't really cut it. Not ready for prime time."

A third Republican, a former Bush State Department official, told BuzzFeed, "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."

But the third official defended the substance of Romney's words: "Romney's attack is spot-on — disgusting that the first Obama administration impulse was to apologize instead of condemning violent religious intolerance. Obama's gotten a real pass on his intervention in Libya, his failed strategy in Afghanistan, and his lack of leadership in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. By trying to cut it down the middle in his foreign policy, no one knows where or for what Obama or America stands in the world these days."

The Republicans declined to speak for attribution, for fear of being publicly disloyal to their party's nominee. Veteran Democratic foreign policy hands, operating under no such restriction, called Romney's quick move all but disqualifying.

"He did jump the gun. It revealed yet again that his foreign policy team is not ready for prime time," said David Rothkopf, a former Clinton State Department official. "It is ugly and amateurish. It also seems strangely out of character with Romney who elsewhere in the campaign seems inclined to be restrained to a fault."

Heather Hurlburt, who heads the National Security Network, a Democratic group, said the statement "shows not just poor judgment and a willingness to use tragedy for political gains, regardless of the security consequences — but also poor management. He has policy people on his team who know better. Clearly they weren't consulted."

"As someone who worked at state and with diplomats for many years, it makes me feel sick," she said.

"Romney blew it and revealed how seriously maladroit he is when it comes to foreign affairs and national security," said Steve Clemons, the founder of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation. "An attack on an Embassy, the murder of U.S. officials including an Ambassador, is an attack on all Americans and the idea of America — and Romney gave terrorists what they want — a divided country still torn emotionally and politically by the events of 9-11. Romney talks of leadership but with his reckless commentary when events were fragile and still unfolding, he belly-flopped."

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Romney is right: In embassy incidents, Obama administration's first instinct was to sympathize with attackers

September 12, 2012

An instant consensus appears to have developed among reporters and commentators that Mitt Romney made a mistake when he released a statement last night condemning the Obama administration's response to attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt. At Romney's hastily-arranged news conference in Florida Wednesday morning, nearly every question was predicated on the assumption that Romney's statement was a miscalculation. Also on Wednesday morning, journalist Mark Halperin, a reliable indicator of media insider sentiment, tweeted that Romney's decision at the news conference to repeat his criticism of the Obama administration's action could be the "most craven and ill-advised move of '12."

But Romney was, and is, right. As events in Benghazi and Cairo unfolded, the Obama administration's first instinct was to apologize for any offense Muslims might have taken from an Internet video, made in America, that mocked and ridiculed the prophet Mohammed, and which the radicals cited as the cause for their actions. In his original statement last night, Romney said, "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." Then, on Wednesday morning, Romney said the administration "was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt instead of condemning their actions."

And that is exactly what the administration did. First, when embassy staff in Cairo knew there was trouble but before Islamist radicals overran the walls, the embassy released this statement:

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims -- as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.

That was before the most serious problems. Afterward the radicals had breached the walls, torn down the American flag and replaced it with an Islamist banner, the embassy sent out a tweet (now deleted), which said: "This morning's condemnation (issued before protest began) still stands. As does our condemnation of unjustified breach of the Embassy." It is not clear if the embassy actually sent out a statement condemning the breach, but it most certainly sent out a statement condemning any possible offense against Muslim sensibilities.

Then, early Thursday morning, after the extent of the violence in Libya and Egypt was known, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released a three-sentence statement, the first two sentences of which addressed possible offense to Muslims. "The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others," Clinton said. "Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind." Clinton's statement was: Regret, affirmation, condemnation, in that order.

So after the initial statement of apology for the video, there were two statements in which the Obama administration reacted apologetically to the attacks in Libya and Egypt. When Romney took to the microphone in Florida, he was careful to say that the administration "was wrong to stand by" its original pre-attack apology.

To the Romney campaign, the events reveal an administration that is too eager to apologize for the United States. "When you have a situation that is unfolding rapidly, a lot of times people fall back to first instinct, and in that first instinct, which is more reflex than strategic thought sometimes, you get to see what they think is most important," says former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a prominent spokesman for the Romney campaign. Pawlenty says that one might assume the administration would instantly condemn such attacks, "but it takes them three statements and the better part of a day to get to that point."

About 7:20 Wednesday morning, President Obama released a statement that first and foremost condemned the attacks. Only after that condemnation did Obama add, "While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally opposed the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants."

Later Wednesday morning, both the president and Secretary of State Clinton made second statements, both tough condemnations of the violence. But Romney remains right: the administration's first instinct was to express regret for hurting any Muslim feelings, and not to strongly condemn attacks against the United States.

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It is all in the timing .. the Egyptian Embassies statement was prior to the fulmination of unrest in Cairo, and long before there was any "co-ordinated" attack in Libya .. Romney was flailing away on Sept. 11th trying to score political points and it back-fired totally .. even his own Party is running away from him on this .. the Right Wing media can spin it any way they want, but when we look back on this election, we will identify THIS incident as the one final blunder needed to send the Romney campaign over the cliff ..

Next time "link" your reports, "mrawfull", so I know where to get paper copies to use for the bottom of my parrot cage .. just like the far Right, that bird just never stops spewing crap out of both ends ..

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