Romney: US Embassy 'failed' to ensure Chen's safety

“The reports are, if they're accurate, that our administration willingly or unwittingly communicated to Chen an implicit threat to his family and also probably sped up or may have sped up the process of his decision to leave the embassy because they wanted to move on to a series of discussions that Mr. Geithner and our secretary of State are planning on having with China,” said Romney at a campaign event.

“Our embassy failed to put in place the kind of verifiable measures that would assure the safety of Mr. Chen and his family.

"If these reports are true, this is a dark day for freedom and it's a day of shame for the Obama administration," added Romney.

Chen, a blind dissident who had sought refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, wants to leave China with his family, the State Department confirmed early Thursday.

But under a deal reached with Chinese authorities, Chen was to remain in a university town near Beijing and get regular check-ins with U.S. diplomats. Chen now says he only left the embassy because he felt his life was in danger and that he still wants to leave China, leading to howls from Republican lawmakers who say the administration has bungled its handling of the situation. 

Read more on Romney's remarks on The Hill's Global Affairs blog.