by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Byron York — who will take part in the John Locke Foundation’s election preview panel Wednesday — challenges the standard media take on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s response to the Sept. 11 violence at American embassies. York devotes his latest Washington Examiner column to the topic.
An instant consensus appears to have developed among reporters and commentators that Mitt Romney made a mistake when he released a statement [Tuesday] night condemning the Obama administration’s response to attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt. At Romney’s hastily-arranged news conference in Florida Wednesday morning, nearly every question was predicated on the assumption that Romney’s statement was a miscalculation. Also on Wednesday morning, journalist Mark Halperin, a reliable indicator of media insider sentiment, tweeted that Romney’s decision at the news conference to repeat his criticism of the Obama administration’s action could be the “most craven and ill-advised move of ’12.”
But Romney was, and is, right. As events in Benghazi and Cairo unfolded, the Obama administration’s first instinct was to apologize for any offense Muslims might have taken from an Internet video, made in America, that mocked and ridiculed the prophet Mohammed, and which the radicals cited as the cause for their actions. In his original statement last night, Romney said, “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.” Then, on Wednesday morning, Romney said the administration “was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt instead of condemning their actions.”
And that is exactly what the administration did.