WASHINGTON, Sept 12, 2012 (AFP) -
WASHINGTON, Sept 12, 2012 (AFP) –
The Obama administration gave “mixed signals” in Egypt when it failed to issue a timely condemnation of an attack on the US embassy in Cairo, White House hopeful Mitt Romney said Wednesday.
The Republican nominee said it was “wrong” for the administration to stand by a statement “sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt instead of condemning their actions.”
Protesters stormed the US embassy in Cairo on Tuesday and burned an American flag. In a separate incident, militants killed the US ambassador to Libya and three other US nationals in an attack on the US mission in Benghazi.
Romney decried the Libya attack as “outrageous” and “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.”
But Romney, speaking in Jacksonville, Florida where he pre-empted his own campaign stop to make his remarks, also doubled down on his late Tuesday comments about the Cairo attack, which had drawn criticism.
Romney criticized President Barack Obama’s administration for apparently standing by their original statement condemning “efforts to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims” any even after the embassy was breached.
“It’s never too early for the United States government to condemn attacks on Americans and to defend our values,” he said.
“The White House distanced itself last night from the statement saying it wasn’t cleared by Washington. That reflects the mixed signals they’re sending to the world.”
The demonstrations, which erupted on the 11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, were motivated by outrage over a video, deemed offensive to Islam, that was posted on the Internet.
The US embassy in Cairo issued a statement earlier on Tuesday condemning “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims, as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.”
That statement was released 12:22 pm Cairo time, about four hours before protesters gathered outside the US mission there, and a full six hours before protesters breached the security wall.