— Democratic Rep Ackerman on Republican claims Obama administration for cutting security in Benghazi
"Romney’s rushed statement Tuesday night calling the Obama administration’s response to the violence “disgraceful” was a new low in a campaign already scraping bottom. And Romney’s subsequent decision to double down on the attack, even as Americans mourned the first killing of an ambassador since 1979 and officials began investigating what now looks like a well-planned terrorist attack … well, I guess this whole performance says a lot about what kind of man Romney is.
The most charitable explanation is that he’s in a panic over polls that show Obama opening a lead. If this is not the case, then Romney’s ignorance of foreign policy is more profound — and potentially dangerous — than anyone could have suspected.
It’s one thing to pander on domestic issues. When Romney takes every conceivable position on health-care reform, when he promises tax cuts for all and sacrifice for none, when he conjures millions of jobs out of thin air — such reckless promises are written off as campaign rhetoric, nothing more.
But international affairs are different. For one thing, there is general consensus that at times of crisis, the United States must speak with one voice. Most Republicans, even some of Obama’s most adamant foes, have respected this tradition. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) both issued measured statements recognizing that this is a moment for patriotism, not politics.
More important is the fact that words spoken in the heat of international crisis can have life-or-death impact. Romney’s ostensible complaint was that Obama should have spoken up more clearly for American values — presumably, in this case, freedom of speech.
Indeed, the administration has made clear that of course it supports the right of anti-Muslim extremists to make and disseminate an amateurish video whose sole purpose is to insult and enrage believers in Islam. This is protected speech under the Constitution. But imagine the reaction if Obama’s first response had been not to try to quell the violence but to align the U.S. government with a piece of inflammatory garbage produced by twisted zealots. Religious tolerance is an American value, too.”