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Getting the facts before talking

Mike Stobbe
AP Medical Writer

11 months 27 days 11 hours ago |83 Views | | | Email | Print

Mitt Romney’s rush to launch an ill-informed partisan salvo at President Barack Obama after the attack in Benghazi (on Sept. 11) that left Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead was more than a mere political blunder, though it was that, too. …


But a White House challenger must also demonstrate that he or she is ready to lead with a steady hand through difficult, often confusing events. At a minimum, that means getting the facts before talking. It’s this test of character that Romney flunked, raising doubts about his readiness to be commander in chief.


… (P)erhaps Romney and his political team sensed an opening after reports of attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and the consulate in Libya and the possible death of American personnel in Benghazi. Both incidents initially appeared to be rooted in outrage over a film made in the United States that mocks the Prophet Muhammad.


When news reports noted a statement from the U.S. mission in Cairo that condemned “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims,” Romney pounced. He issued a statement denouncing the administration because its “first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”


One problem: The embassy statement — never authorized by the State Department, let alone the White House — came hours before either assault. …


Romney’s haste made him look like an opportunist, especially when he sidestepped repeated chances to retreat. …


Distributed by The Associated Press

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