Apr 17, 2014 fbook icon twitter icon rss icon
Politics

Fact Checkers Debunk Mitt Romney's False Statements about Pres. Obama and Libya Attack

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Speaking in an interview with '60 Minutes' this week, President Obama said that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has a tendency to "shoot first and aim later."

That is a pretty tame comment compared to the fact checkers who are having a field day with Romney's latest attack on President Obama in wake of the tragic killing of an U.S. ambassador and three staff members in Libya on 9/11/12.

On Tuesday night, the Romney campaign 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.”

After Romney’s statement, Tuesday night, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted on Twitter: “Obama sympathizes with attackers in Egypt. Sad and pathetic.”

However, as Salon.com's Joan Walsh points out:

That lie was apparently based on a message released by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo before the attack, which was designed to reduce tensions inflamed by the hate-speech of Terry Jones and his Muslim-hating supporters, who are promoting a despicably anti-Islam film via YouTube.

The Cairo Embassy statement read: “The United States Embassy in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.” It didn’t come from either President Obama or the State Department, and it was issued before the killings in Benghazi, not after them.

During a Wednesday morning news conference, Romney had a chance to correct the record, and acknowledge that the Cairo Embassy statement didn’t come from Pres. Obama and that it preceded the killings, but instead Romney claimed that the Obama administration’s statements were “apologizing” for America:

However, PolitiFact debunked that claim and added:

"This is a theme for Romney: He has long accused Obama of apologizing for America, starting in 2010, when Romney published No Apology: The Case for American Greatness. Since then, he has repeatedly criticized what he has called an “apology tour” by Obama shortly after he took office. PolitiFact has examined those speeches, consulted experts on speechmaking and apologies, and rated Romney’s claim Pants on Fire."

FactCheck.org  stated:

"Romney has falsely accused Obama of “apologizing for America” many times before. The line has been a dependable applause-getter with conservative audiences. But we found no basis for this claim in Obama’s previous speeches and remarks. And other fact-checkers came to similar conclusions."

The Washington Post said that Romney responded "recklessly" and labeled his statements a "series of dubious attacks."

A few weeks ago, a Romney advisor said the campaign won’t be “dictated by fact-checkers,” which may be the most truthful statement the Romney campaign has made.


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