Goldblog defends Obama against Romney's now-conscious, repeated lies:
The "sympathy" was expressed not by someone in the administration, but by a tweeter in the besieged embassy in Cairo. The fact that the tweets were written in fear doesn't excuse them (it does make them understandable), but it is ridiculous to blame Obama for them.
Kornacki echoes Jeffrey:
The foolishness of Romney’s reaction is glaring. Pretending that the statement from the U.S. embassy in Cairo was anything other than a completely understandable and reasonable attempt by its occupants to save their own lives borders on disgraceful. Romney’s implication that the statement was issued at the height of the attacks is also false; it was actually released earlier in the day, a preventive measure aimed at keeping the protests from turning violent.
Once again, the Romney pattern holds: pander to the right, issue an irresponsible statement, before Romney and his people even know whether this violence is going to spread, and prove that they will try to use even the violent deaths of four diplomats to political advantage. This isn't an aberration. We've seen enough to know that this is his character.
David Sessions examines the broader Republican response:
On Fox News, Krauthammer called the embassy’s initial response "a hostage statement," and said he would have told the protesters to "go to hell." On the website of Commentary, Jonathan Tobin wrote, "Is it possible to learn from history? Apparently not if you are an American president determined to win the love of the Islamic world." In an equally bellicose follow-up, Tobin called the embassy’s statement "shocking" and "craven" and complained about Obama’s "tone of moral equivalence." In a caustic screed on Facebook, Sarah Palin called the statement "so outrageous some thought it must be satire … How’s the Arab Spring working out for us now?"
Greg Sargent wonders what Romney proposes to do:
According to Josh Rogin, the Romney campaign is going to broaden its case by linking these attacks to Obama’s “failure to assert American leadership throughout the Arab spring.” One wonders whether Romney — who has been widely criticized for failing to spell out his own foreign policies with any meaningful specificity, even as he attacks Obama as a weak appeaser on any number of fronts — will take this occasion to spell out clearly how he would handle the situation.
Adam Serwer doubts a Republican president would have handled things much differently:
Despite the persistent Republican fantasy that the United States conducts diplomacy the way that Sean Hannity used to treat Alan Colmes, it's not clear a Republican President would have reacted differently to initial reports. In 2006, when European newspapers published cartoons denigrating Islam's prophet Mohammed, the Bush administration similarly affirmed free speech rights but said that "We find them offensive, and we certainly understand why Muslims would find these images offensive."
And Jonathan Capehart notices who within the GOP stepped up:
Once again, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is the statesman in a party devoid of them. "We mourn for the families of our countrymen in Benghazi, and condemn this horrific attack," he said in a pitch-perfect statement. "Eleven years after September 11, this is a jolting reminder that freedom remains under siege by forces around the globe who relish violence over free expression, and terror over democracy — and that America and free people everywhere must remain vigilant in defense of our liberties." Would that Romney could learn how to do that.
(Photo: A burnt house and a car are seen inside the US Embassy compound on September 12, 2012 in Benghazi, Libya following an overnight attack on the building. By Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)