Huffpost Politics

Mitt Romney Response To Libya, Egypt Attacks Called 'Irresponsible,' 'Craven,' 'Ham-Handed'

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Many members of the media reacted with puzzlement and criticism to Mitt Romney's continuing criticism of the White House response to the deadly attacks in Libya and Egypt.

The Romney campaign drew fire on Wednesday morning for issuing a blistering statement condemning the American embassy in Egypt for speaking against an incendiary anti-Muslim film, even though the embassy made the statement before any attacks had taken place. NBC's Chuck Todd, for instance, called the statement "irresponsible" and a "bad mistake." ABC's Jake Tapper said that Romney's attack "does not stand up to simple chronology."

CNN's Peter Hamby also criticized the response:


Peter Hamby
Clinton issued statement condemning violence at 10pm EST Tues night. Yet Romney camp still went ahead w/ claim O "sympathizes" w/ attackers

National Journal's Ron Fournier called Romney's actions "ham-handed" and "inaccurate."

Conservative pundit Erick Ericson, while disagreeing with Todd's response, also warned Romney to be "cautious."

Despite that criticism, Romney continued this line of attack in an appearance on Wednesday morning, saying that the White House had made a "severe miscalculation."

This drew a fierce response from analyst Mark Halperin:


Mark Halperin
Unless Mitt has gamed crisis out in some manner completely invisible to Gang of 500,doubling down=most craven+ill-advised move of '12

Other reporters were similarly baffled. "The Romney campaign's politicization of the embassy attacks is even worse than I expected," Foreign Policy writer Blake Hounshell tweeted.

Speaking on Fox News, conservative columnist Peggy Noonan was also blunt. "I don't feel that Mr. Romney has been doing himself any favors in the past few hours," she said. “Sometimes when really bad things happen, when hot things happen, cool words or no words is the way to go.”

"If you think the eye-rolling at Romney is just coming from the MSM, call up some Republican foreign policy hands," BuzzFeed's Ben Smith added.

Joe Scarborough responded to Smith's tweet:


Joe Scarborough
I've been inundated with emails and calls from elected GOP leaders who think Romney's response was a mistake. Not today.

Later, the editorial board of the Washington Post weighed in, with a piece headlined, "Mr. Romney’s rhetoric on embassy attacks discredits his campaign." Romney's approach, the board said, was "stunning."

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