Romney slams Obama reaction to protest.
Mitt Romney has hit out at the Obama administration’s ‘disgraceful’ response to violent protests in Egypt and Libya,
‘I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi,’ the Republican presidential candidate said in a statement on Wednesday.
‘It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathise with those who waged the attacks.’
The US diplomat was killed when an armed mob attacked the consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi hours after some 3,000 demonstrators scaled the walls of the US embassy in Cairo and tore down the US flag.
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’.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a sharper statement later, saying there was no excuse for the violence.
‘Some have sought to justify this vicious behaviour as a response to inflammatory material posted on the internet,’ Clinton said in her statement.
‘The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. 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.’
The filmmaker has gone into hiding after the attacks. Writer and director Sam Bacile spoke on the phone on Tuesday from an unidentified location. He remains defiant, saying Islam is a ‘cancer’ and he wants his film to make a political statement.
The 56-year-old identifies himself as an Israeli Jew and says he believes his video will help his native land by exposing Islam’s flaws to the world. Excerpts dubbed into Arabic were posted on YouTube.
Bacile says he’s sorry for the person who died, but lax embassy security is to blame.
Romney and US President Barack Obama have stepped up attacks on one another since their party conventions last week and the week before, as the campaign enters a crucial final phase leading up to the November 6 vote.