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NYT: Romney Risked Associating With Fringe

From the New York Times:

A Challenger’s Criticism Is Furiously Returned

By PETER BAKER and ASHLEY PARKER | Wednesday Sept 12, 2012

WASHINGTON — The deadly attack on an American diplomatic post in Libya propelled foreign policy to the forefront of an otherwise inward-looking presidential campaign and presented an unexpected test not only to the incumbent, who must manage an international crisis, but also to the challenger, whose response quickly came under fire.

While President Obama dealt with the killings of an ambassador and three other Americans and deflected questions about his handling of the Arab world, Mitt Romney, the Republican seeking his job, wasted little time going on the attack, accusing the president of apologizing for American values and appeasing Islamic extremists.

“They clearly sent mixed messages to the world,” Mr. Romney told reporters during a campaign swing through Florida.

Wow, that is really "going on the attack."

But Mr. Romney came under withering criticism for distorting the chain of events overseas and appearing to seek political advantage from an attack that claimed American lives.

This from the same New York Times that just posted an (absurd) editorial that blamed George Bush for not heeding the warnings before 9/11. (All of which was based on the claims from one anonymous source, whom The Times probably invented.)

A statement he personally approved characterized an appeal for religious tolerance issued by the American Embassy in Cairo as sympathy for the attackers even though the violence did not occur until hours after the embassy statement.

The protest was already underway. The Egyptian government had already warned the US Embassy and others that there would be trouble.

But that is mute anyway. The embassy’s press release condemned the film makers, and thereby America’s freedom of speech. As did Hillary Clinton:

Mr. Romney on Wednesday said the embassy statement, which was disavowed by the administration, was “akin to apology, and I think was a severe miscalculation.”

Mr. Obama fired back later in the day, accusing his opponent of politicizing a national tragedy. “Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later,” he told CBS News for its “60 Minutes” program. “And as president, one of the things I’ve learned is you can’t do that — that, you know, it’s important for you to make sure that the statements that you make are backed up by the facts, and that you’ve thought through the ramifications.”

This is from the same Barack Obama who said that the "Cambridge police acted stupidly" for arresting his friend, Bill ‘Skip’ Gates.

The harsh exchanges had their origins on Tuesday night as Mr. Romney’s team was following the increasingly volatile developments in the Middle East. The embassy statement, issued hours before protests in Cairo and the attack in Libya began, had tried to mollify Muslims upset at an American-made anti-Islam video. “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others,” the statement said.

Again, the protests had already begun. And, again, the embassy tweeted that it stood by its statement after the attacks were underway. And, once more, the embassy statement was wrong no matter when it was issued.

For Mr. Romney, whose 2010 book, “No Apology,” assailed Mr. Obama for what he saw as trying to placate America’s enemies, the embassy statement rankled. When aides showed it to him, they said he reacted strongly to the notion of “hurt” religious feelings. In his mind, they said, the Obama administration was aligning itself with those who would do harm to the United States.

How else can you look at it?

Already on the defensive for not mentioning Afghanistan in his convention speech and losing some ground in recent polls, Mr. Romney saw an opportunity to draw a stark contrast..

According to the New York Times, Republicans never act except in hopes of some political advantage. Meanwhile, Democrats are always motivated by the purest ideals.

[Romney] personally read and approved his campaign’s statement before it was sent out at 10:10 p.m. Tuesday. “It’s disgraceful 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,” it said…

The problem with that statement is that it is all too true. Which is why the news media and the rest of the Obama campaign have to pretend that it is not true.

The resulting episode was perhaps the most vivid confrontation over events abroad since the general election began taking shape, and it ended up putting Mr. Romney on the defensive as he sought to define his differences with the president and demonstrate his bona fides as a potential commander in chief. The debate over his comments drew attention from questions about how Mr. Obama had managed the popular uprisings in the Arab world, the aftermath of the war in Libya and the broader battle against Islamic extremists. The president has been criticized for not doing more to guide the transition to democracy in the Middle East and to stop religious extremists from coming to power…

Criticized by whom? Not by the New York Times or any of the other lickspittles in the mainstream media.

In the midst of that, White House officials saw Mr. Romney’s denunciation of the Cairo embassy statement. They, too, decided the embassy language went too far without standing firm against potential violence;

So if Romney’s comments were wrong, so were the White House’s comments. But somehow we aren’t hearing about that.

[O]fficials privately told reporters it was not cleared in Washington.

Which is almost certainly untrue. Look at the Hillary tweets above, which say the same thing.

The embassy reaffirmed the statement even after protests began, posting a message on Twitter that it “still stands,” but then tried to delete that message.

The not only tried to delete it, they deleted it. Along with other damning comments.

By Wednesday morning, when it became public that four Americans had been killed in an attack at the mission in Benghazi, Mr. Romney’s initial statement looked clumsy and badly timed to many, and Republicans like Peggy Noonan, the Wall Street Journal columnist, and John E. Sununu, the former New Hampshire senator, publicly criticized it.

Rather than back away, Mr. Romney doubled down with reporters in Jacksonville, where he denounced Mr. Obama for not defending the filmmakers’ free speech rights. “Apology for America’s values is never the right course,” Mr. Romney said. He argued that the White House disavowal of the statement showed that the administration, too, realized it was wrong.

Again, Mr. Romney was exactly right on every point. Except that the embassy statement was more of a condemnation of the filmmakers’ right to free speech, than an apology for it.

[Yet Mr. Romney took a risk by potentially associating himself with fringe elements preaching hatred of Islam; the Southern Poverty Law Center linked a consultant from the film to “far-right” Christian militias.]

The New York Times has subsequently deleted this last sentence from their already scathing article on Romney. We got it from this site, which publishes the RSS feeds from media outlets.

But look at that accusation. First, it’s from the crackpots at the SPLC, who call anyone they don’t like a ‘hate site.’ The SPLC even recently listed the Occupy Cleveland people who plead guilty to trying to blow up bridges in Ohio as part of the ‘radical right.’

But that aside, it is simply gratuitous. At this time no one knows for sure who is behind the film. Even The Times has an article entitled: "Film That Stoked Mideast Violence Has Murky Parentage."

Besides, it’s more and more likely the film was just used as a pretext anyway. But The Times saw another opportunity to smear Mitt Romney, and they ran with it. At least at first. As if the rest of the article wasn’t already bad enough.

Democrats pounced. Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey said Mr. Romney showed “a degree of instability” and demonstrated that “there is almost nothing he won’t do for political gain.” …

The same Frank Lautenberg who compared Dubai (or the United Arab Emirates) to the devil during the Dubai Ports World controversy? Lautenberg was quoted as stating, "We wouldn’t transfer the title to the devil, and we’re not going to transfer it to Dubai," according to a Foreign Policy In Focus.

Lautenberg was eventually forced to apologize for his unstable remarks that he made for political gain.

By the way, we seem to recall that the Illinois State Senator, Barack Obama, gained national recognition for being among the first to blast the invasion of Iraq before he had any idea about the facts involved. And he did so entirely for political gain. (Which is the only reason he does anything.)

“I would probably have waited 12 or 24 hours and put out a more comprehensive statement,” said Representative Peter T. King, a New York Republican and chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. “When something tragic happens and a quick statement is made, it can be interpreted as political.” …

Mr. Romney’s comments were just as accurate 24 hours later. In fact, he said the same thing the White House said in effect, many hours later. So how come Romney isn’t being praised for being prescient?

This is a rhetorical question, of course. All reality has to be thrown aside in order for our news media to create another phony Romney stumble.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, September 13th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “NYT: Romney Risked Associating With Fringe”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    Who you calling fringe?

  2. Petronius says:

    “Mr. Romney saw an opportunity to draw a stark contrast . . . .”

    Isn’t that what candidates are supposed to do in a political campaign?

    Gov. Romney has never been better than he was yesterday. The contrast with the empty chair could not have been clearer. Romney’s handling of the hostile press was superb.

    “And as president, one of the things I’ve learned is you can’t do that . . . .”

    Nerobama has never been president and has never learned anything of real import. When not busy destroying America, he has been AWOL. In fact, I have come to appreciate every moment that he is AWOL, as that is one more moment that he cannot devote to the destruction of our economy, our military, and our civilization.

    • ilzito guacamolito says:

      ~ “Mr. Romney saw an opportunity to draw a stark contrast . . . .”

      Isn’t that what candidates are supposed to do in a political campaign? ~

      Exactly. I guess they figured Romney would roll over like McCain did.

  3. John Carter says:

    I stand greatly amused watching Obama, Hillary, and the main stream media franticly trying to justify spending $Billions for a $2.00 whore.

  4. fallingpianos says:

    “Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation.”

    Define “religious tolerance”, Mrs. Clinton.

    The real object of the [First] amendment was, not to countenance, much less to advance Mahometanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity; but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects, and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment, which should give to an hierarchy the exclusive patronage of the national government.”

    – Justice Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 1833

  5. canary says:

    Obama is guilty by association; an aggressive Arabic Spring that is leading to extreme Islam.

    Obama should have called it for what it was. The Arabic Spring celebrating their happiest day of dancing in the streets 9/11.

    Instead he wants to blame it on a dumb film most people in the world didn’t know about.

    Is it really the Holy War the growing spread of Islam is carrying out their barbaric slaughters, or are they animals looking for any reason or excuse to taste the blood they are addicted too.

    Their power of mutilating and blowing up people in the name of allah.

    It’s time for America to practice tough love.

    Obama never should have announced the date of withdrawal of troops in order to fulfill a campaign promises and play politics.

    He had the power to quietly get our troops out of Afghanistan especially when he never had any intention to leave residual troops there. Karzai’s days are numbered. The people will never be grateful to Obama or Karzai and will only be out for more blood.

  6. canary says:

    It was the Democratic National Convention’s democratic speakers that led to the present protests and attacks murdering U.S. Americans in the Middle-East.

    The planning started at that time after the Speakers shouted out Osama bin Laden was not in heaven but at the bottom of the sea.

    These Islamic extremists taking over Middle-Eastern countries consider Osama bin Laden a great modern day prophet who was only doing allah’s will.

    Remember after his death the rise of Afghanistans and Pakistans protesting, attacking, and murdering U.S. & NATO troops.
    The little boys on their daddy’s shoulders throwing rocks and shaking their fists in defiance.

    Osama bin Laden is a hero to middle-east countries. 9/11 was one of the most enjoyable days of their lives praising allah.

    Does anyone remember the terrible uprising after Osama bin Laden was murdered. The slaughtering of U.S. and NATO troops by both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

  7. canary says:

    What’s missing are protestors holding signs that a film is behind their everyday attacks and murdering human beings.

  8. canary says:

    The WTC is attacked two times and people can’t see the anniversary connection. Attacks planned over U.S. holding 1993 WTC bomber prisoner.

    USA Today: Deadly embassy attacks were days in the making

    by Sara Lynch and Oren Dorell Dec 13 2012

    CAIRO — Days of planning and online promotion by hard-line Islamist leaders helped whip up the mobs that stormed the U.S. Embassy in Egypt and launched a deadly attack on the U.S. Embassy in Libya that killed an ambassador and three others.

    A man looks at documents at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, after an attack that killed four Americans. The graffiti reads, “no God but God,” “God is great,” and “Mohammed is the Prophet.”

    As the U.S. tightened security worldwide at embassies and Libya’s president apologized for the attack, details emerged of how the violence began, according to experts who monitor Egyptian media.

    The protest was planned by Salafists well before news circulated of an objectionable video ridiculing Islam’s prophet, Mohammed, said Eric Trager, an expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

    The protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo was announced Aug. 30 by Jamaa Islamiya, a State Department-designated terrorist group, to protest the ongoing imprisonment of its spiritual leader, Sheikh Omar abdel Rahman. He is serving a life sentence in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

    Zawahiri justified al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks in an interview with Al Jazeera last month.

    “If America attacks the Arab peoples and their regimes do not defend them, somebody who does defend the Arab and Muslim peoples should not be considered a criminal,” Zawahiri told the television network, according to a translation by MEMRI. “We have done nothing wrong.”

    A U.S. official, speaking to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the situation publicly, said the Obama administration is investigating whether the assault on the U.S. consulate in Libya was planned to mark the anniversary of 9/11.

    The Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), condemned the film in a statement Tuesday.

    VIDEO: Romney says White House gave ‘mixed signals’ on Libya attack

    By the end of the assault, much of the building was burned out and trashed. On Wednesday, Libyans wandered freely around the burned-out building, taking photos of rooms where furniture was covered in soot and overturned. Walls were scrawled with graffiti.

    Ziad Abu Zeid, the Libyan doctor who treated Stevens, said he had “severe asphyxia,” apparently from smoke inhalation, causing stomach bleeding, but had no other injuries. Stevens was practically dead when he arrived before 1 a.m. Wednesday, and “we tried to revive him for an hour and a half, but with no success,” Abu Zeid said.

    His State Department biography, posted on the website of the U.S. Embassy to Libya, says he “considers himself fortunate to participate in this incredible period of change and hope for Libya.”

    Some Muslims believe that any depiction of the prophet Mohammed, positive or negative, is not allowed.

    Anti-American sentiments are less strong in Libya, where the U.S. helped oust Gadhafi, but unlike in Egypt, the Salafis in Libya are armed, which contributed to the level of violence, Hamid said.


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