In the wake of the murder of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, and as other U.S. embassies have been targeted for protests and violence, many pundits have eagerly jumped on Mitt Romney – specifically his campaign’s misinformed statement Tuesday night that “the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.” The Los Angeles Times editorialized that the GOP presidential nominee was “capitalizing on the attack to shore up his dubious campaign narrative that Obama is soft on radical Islam and apologetic about American values. It’s an outrageous exercise in opportunism.” The New York Times’ Gail Collins said Romney “went for a cheap attack at a time when any calm, mature adult would have waited and opted for at least a brief show of national unity.” President Obama even joined in, saying Romney “seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later.” Of course, criticizing Romney’s remarks, however ill-considered, is easier than debating what to do about the spreading unrest.
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