The Romney campaign has intensified its criticism of the Obama administration two days after an anti-Islam film sparked deadly protests throughout the Middle East.
In fact, in a Thursday interview with the Washington Post, a Romney advisor went so far as to imply that the unrest could have been avoided, if only the GOP nominee were already president.
From the Washington Post:
"There's a pretty compelling story that if you had a President Romney, you'd be in a different situation," Richard Williamson, a top Romney foreign policy adviser, said in an interview. "For the first time since Jimmy Carter, we've had an American ambassador assassinated."
Williamson added, "In Egypt and Libya and Yemen, again demonstrations -- the respect for America has gone down, there's not a sense of American resolve and we can't even protect sovereign American property."
The statement represents an escalation of rhetoric at a time when the campaign is sustaining heavy criticism from both ends of the political spectrum.
Shortly after news broke that the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, had been attacked -- and Ambassador Chris Stevens killed -- Romney criticized the U.S. embassy in Egypt for condemning the film that sparked the region-spanning protests. The statement was roundly panned for misrepresenting the timeline of events. However, the Romney campaign refused to back down, even as stalwart conservatives, like the Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan, rebuked the Republican nominee.