By Jonathan Easley - 09/12/12 03:03 PM EDT
“When you look at what’s happening in Egypt and Libya at this particular point in time — I think what amazes me, though, is the situation at some particular point in time, there needs to be some accountability on behalf of this administration, and to simply attack the Romney campaign for a single statement but not examine the foreign policy flaws of this administration, that doesn’t seem correct,” he said.
The Romney campaign pounced on a statement issued by the U.S. embassy in Cairo on Tuesday, characterizing it as an apology to anti-American protesters.
In their statement, embassy officials condemned "the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions."
The statement, looking to defuse tensions with the protesters, invoked the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy," the statement read. "Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others."
The White House said it did not approve the statement.
Romney, though, late Tuesday called it "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.”
Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt responded, saying he was “shocked” Romney would try to politicize the issue.
“We are shocked that, at a time when the United States of America is confronting the tragic death of one of our diplomatic officers in Libya, Gov. Romney would choose to launch a political attack,” he said.