The United States ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, was killed along with three of his staff members in a fiery and furious attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi on Tuesday night by an armed mob angry over a short American-made video mocking Islam’s founding prophet, the White House and Libyan officials said on Wednesday.
In a statement confirming the four fatalities, President Obama said he strongly condemned the killings and had ordered increased security at American diplomatic posts around the world. It was the first death of an American envoy abroad in more than two decades...“This is an attack that should shock the conscience of people of all faiths around the world,” Mrs. Clinton said in a televised statement. “We condemn in the strongest terms this senseless act of violence and we send our prayers to the families, friends and colleagues of those we’ve lost.”
The Romney campaign drew fire on Wednesday morning for issuing a blistering statement condemning the American embassy in Egypt for speaking against an incendiary anti-Muslim film, even though the embassy made the statement before any attacks had taken place. NBC's Chuck Todd, for instance, called the statement "irresponsible" and a "bad mistake."
Romney accused the Obama White House of "sympathizing" with the attackers last night. This morning, he said the White House had made a "severe miscalculation" in their response, calling it "akin to an apology." Even conservative pundits are telling Romney to shut up, but he keeps barreling on. The responses to his statements are bad and getting worse.
Foreign policy is one of the trickiest paths to navigate if you're running for president against an incumbent. When it comes to foreign policy crises, we tend to rally around the current administration, no matter what their response may be. It seems that most Republicans are standing behind the president for now. But now that Romney is basically calling the White House a bunch of Muslim apologists, he's got a serious challenge.
Of course, Romney's challenge is nothing compared to President Obama's and Secretary Clinton's. At the moment, they're saying that they're going to work with the new Libyan government to find the killers, but it remains to be seen how patient the American people are going to be about this.