Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney went after President Barack Obama on Monday for his remarks on CBS' "60 Minutes" that recent events in the Middle East were "bumps in the road."
"His indication that developments in the Middle East represent bumps in the road is a very different view than I have," he told ABC on Monday. "The president, uh, I can't imagine saying something like the assassination of ambassadors is a bump in the road, when you look at the entire context, the assassination, the Muslim Brotherhood president being elected in Egypt, 20,000 people killed in Syria, Iran close to becoming a nuclear nation. These are far from being bumps in the road. They represent events that are spinning out of the kind of influence we’d like to have."
He went after the "bumps in the road" comment again at a campaign rally Monday in Pueblo, Colo., in front of about 1,675 people.
"The world looks at the events going on, they don't see these events as 'bumps in the road,'" he said. "These are lives, this is humanity, this is freedom."
U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other embassy staffers were killed earlier this month when a mob stormed the consulate in Benghazi. Romney quickly attacked the president, saying his administration apologized for American values before condemning attacks on American embassies -- a claim that was untrue because the alleged "apology" wasn't an apology at all and came before the consulate was infiltrated.
Obama discussed recent events in the Middle East in an interview that aired Sunday. Asked by CBS' Steve Kroft whether the events gave him "any pause about" his support for governments in the Middle East after the Arab Spring, Obama said he knew it was "going to be a rocky path."
"I think it was absolutely the right thing for us to do to align ourselves with democracy, universal rights -- a notion that people have to be able to participate in their own governance," he said. "But I was pretty certain and continue to be pretty certain that there are going to be bumps in the road because, you know, in a lot of these places the one organizing principle has been Islam."
Conservatives quickly pounced on those remarks as a dismissal of the significance of the death of the ambassador, although Obama did not mention the events in Libya specifically.