Mitt Romney’s behavior in the last 24 hours has been repulsive. Faced with an attack from a crowd of angry protestors in Cairo over the release of an anti-Muhammad film in the United States, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo released the following statement in an attempt to appease the mob and prevent violence:
“The Embassy of the United States 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. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. 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.”
Romney apparently sensing a political opening attacked the Obama Administration over the statement claiming it was “sympathizing with those who waged the attack”. Back on the offensive the next morning, Romney reiterated his criticism of the Administration’s handling of the attack and stated, “It’s never too early for the United States government to condemn attacks on Americans and to defend our values.”
That Mitt Romney would play politics while an attack on an American Embassy was in progress is more than disgusting; it is indicative of his unfitness to hold the office of the presidency. It shows impulsiveness and a readiness to shoot first and ask questions later that we can ill afford in a president.
But, Romney’s actions frankly did not surprise this commentator. Those advising him on his national security team are basically retreads from the George W. Bush years – renowned neoconservatives, and Zionists. All are itching to reacquire the reins of power in order to involve America in more foreign military adventures, namely Syria and Iran. So, when Romney went on the offensive, it became clear that the same gang that gave us the “axis of evil”, and the “you are either for us or against us” campaigns and over a decade of continuous war was at it again. Apparently they are willing to stoop to any depth in an effort to score political points to win this election so as to recommence their murderous rampage specifically through the Islamic World.
There is no question that Governor Romney has surrounded himself with dangerous advisors on national security. But, through his recent actions he has proven himself to be a hypocrite as well.
On Wednesday morning, he went to great lengths to claim that the Obama Administration had failed to defend our values with the Embassy’s statement. Specifically, he accused them of “effectively apologizing for the right of free speech”.
This is outrageous coming from a man whose campaign just conducted a party gathering in Tampa described by one political commentator as a “Brownshirt Convention”. At the Republican National Convention, Brown shirted guards and police cordoned off a large section of downtown Tampa to keep protestors out of sight. Anything not specifically approved by the Romney people, including signs of rival factions within the party, were confiscated on the streets inside the cordoned off area and on the floor of the RNC. Lastly, leaving nothing to chance, all speakers were censored by the Romney campaign and those that refused were denied a platform to speak. This all makes Romney’s criticism that the Administration did not defend the right to free speech hypocritical given his personal squashing of the same in Tampa.
At the end of the day, Governor Romney’s political attack on the Obama Administration while Americans were in harm’s way shows a lack of judgment on his part. His criticism of the Administration that it did not defend the right of Americans to freedom of speech was pure hypocrisy in light of his campaign’s abuses at the RNC. It is these traits that make him unfit to be our president.
Article first published as A Lack of Judgment and Hypocrisy on Blogcritics.
Kenn Jacobine teaches internationally and maintains a summer residence in North Carolina