RNC ad slams Obama, calls Mideast unrest a ‘crisis of leadership’

ADVERTISEMENT
"President Obama may think that the recent attacks in the Middle East are just 'bumps in the road,' but in reality they are serious national-security crises that reflect his weak leadership,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement announcing the video. “Gov. Romney will bring strength back to the White House, represent our interests abroad and never apologize for the United States of America."

The ad comes as Republican candidate Mitt Romney has been slamming Obama's national-security credentials, charging the president with being weak on foreign policy.

In his "60 Minutes" interview aired Sunday, Obama had likened the unrest in the Middle East to "bumps in the road."

Romney on Monday's seized on that remark to argue that the administration was downplaying the dangers of the post-Arab Spring Middle East. 

“The president characterized as ‘bumps in the road’ the developments of the Middle East — we just had an ambassador assassinated,” Romney told NBC News.

White House press secretary Jay Carney, though, defended Obama's remarks on Monday and said GOP attempts to suggest that the president was downplaying the deaths of Americans were "profoundly offensive."

Carney said Obama’s statement had come in response to a larger discussion about whether the recent developments in the region had made him question his support for the new post-Arab Spring governments.

“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,” Obama said in the interview.

The president is expected to defend his policies and call for continued U.S. leadership in the Middle East during his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday morning.

In prepared excerpts from the president's speech released early Tuesday, Obama condemns the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya earlier this month as "not simply an assault on America," but also "an assault on the very ideals upon which the United Nations was founded."