Romney adviser: White House arguing process over facts on Cairo statement

The issue is that the statement to which Romney references — issued by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo — was released hours before the violent riots at the embassy, in an attempt to preemptively quell furor over an anti-Islam video — not after the attacks. Furthermore, the White House has said that it did not authorize the statement.

Williamson said Wednesday that he believed the statement was reissued after the embassy in Cairo was breached.

"It's my understanding it was reissued, it was not taken down and, in fact, the White House didn't respond and back away from it and say they did not approve of the statement until many hours later, after President Obama had seen the statement from Gov. Romney," Williamson said.

And, the Romney adviser said, the substance of Romney's attack remained.

"The fact is, the substance of what the governor said last night was true. He continues to stand by it. We shouldn't be on an apology tour," Williamson said, "but rather be aggressive in condemning this breach of sovereign American soil.

"We should be defending our principles, our free speech in pluralism and — first and foremost, this morning when we'd learned that a life was lost and other lives were lost, we have to be conscious of our condolences and sympathy and appreciation for their service, he continued, "but the substance of what the governor said last night was true then and it's true now and the American people have a choice to make, and it's between an administration that apologizes for our values and principles and someone who stands up for it."

Earlier Wednesday, Romney himself defended the statement during a press conference in Jacksonville, Fla.

"I also believe the administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt instead of condemning their actions," Romney said. "It's never too early for the United States government to condemn attacks on Americans and defend our values."

But other Republicans have suggested Romney's attack was mistimed, or avoided joining him in criticizing the Obama administration.

“They probably should have waited," said former Sen. John Sununu of New Hampshire on MSNBC Wednesday morning. "You look at the way things unfolded, you look at the timing of it, they probably should have waited.”