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In a 12:29 AM EST update to Mitt Romney Criticizes Obama Administration Over Response To Libya, Egypt Attacks, Joshua Hersh reports the White House's lastest denunciation of Mitt Romney's political exploitation of the attacks against the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.  

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt also commented on the statement from the Romney campaign. “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, Governor Romney would choose to launch a political attack,” LaBolt said in a statement.

In a statement released late Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the attack on the mission in Benghazi "in the strongest" terms, and added that while the U.S. "deplores" the denigration of religion depicted in the film, it would not countenance such violent responses.

"Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet," Clinton said. "The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind."

The Romney campaign lifted its earlier embargo to delay their criticisms of President Obama's handling of the event until midnight, to keep their promise to avoid negative campaigning on September 11, but apparently could not resist. As they informed news organizations they could release their statement one and half hours early. (Continued below squiggle.)

Mitt Romney's statement follows:

"I'm outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi," Romney said in the statement. "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."

Romney did not accurately report that the much earlier statement issues by the U.S. embassy indicating sympathy for Islamic people outraged by a an anti-Islamic internet video was made prior to the violence, and by the embassy not the White House.

Romney's crass exploitation of this violence on September 11, after promises to avoid negative campaigning will certainly escalate tomorrow.  

Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 11:35 PM PT: Steve Holland, of Reuters, confirms this breaking story in Romney criticizes Obama response to Libya, Egypt attacks

Romney, who has made fixing the weak U.S. economy his central cause for defeating President Barack Obama in the November 6 election, was quick to pounce on Obama over developments in Libya and Egypt. Romney has long sought to make the case that the Obama administration has apologized for American actions abroad and says he would never "apologize for America."

"I'm outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi," Romney said in a statement.

"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," he said.

The Obama campaign criticized Romney for his response.

"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, Governor Romney would choose to launch a political attack," said Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt.

Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 11:44 PM PT: I was so eager to get a second confirmation on this shocking and consequencial story, that I didn't put in a conclusion.

Mitt Romney's disgraceful distortion and exploitation violates a long tradition that leaders of both political parties unite behind the our President in a foreign policy crisis.

This is going to get really nasty, as I believe Romney has capitulated to hard core conservatives to go negative in major ways.  But to do so on September 11, and with lies about a violent foreign policy crisis crosses a line that I believe he will come to regret.  

Let me be the first to demand that Republican leaders join me in denouncing MItt Romney's disgraceful political exploitation, and clarify that the reaction he is denouncing came from the Cairo embassy prior to the violence.  And, he should explain whether his exploitation was based on ignorance, or opportunism.

But, I believe it is probably both.  This is the final proof that Mitt Romney is not qualified to be President of the United States of America, by his ignorance, lack of character, lack of integrity, and lack of patriotism.

Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 11:51 PM PT: Fair use constraints prevented me from quoting all the important details so I am adding this comment from puakev, in the comments, noting that Mitt Romney denounced a statement from the US embassy in Cairo that was made prior to the violence, and from what I can tell at this point  Mitt Romney appears to have intentionally  distorted it to make it appear as if this was the President's reaction after the violence occurred.

Not to mention the US Embassy in Egypt released the statement that Romney is attacking before the attack in Cairo even happened.  In any case the US Embassy in Egypt released its statement independent of the White House, which has since disavowed the statement.  This is really a new low for Romney and the Repubs, but will the press call them out on it?  I wouldn't bet on it.

"Better the occasional faults of a Government that lives in the spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a Government frozen in the ice of its own indifference." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

by puakev on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 11:40:45 PM PDT

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