The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, was killed when Libyan militants stormed the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.Three other Americans were killed in the attack.
Stevens, 52, died on Tuesday as 20 gun-wielding attackers stormed the U.S. consulate, angry about an American-made movie that depicted Prophet Mohammad as a fraud and a womanizer. The attackers fired automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades at the consulate, Deputy Interior Minister Wanis al-Sharif told a news conference in Benghazi.
The movie, "promoted by Terry Jones, the controversial Florida preacher whose Koran burning in March 2010 led to the deadly violence in Afghanistan," had prompted the U.S. Embassy in Egypt to issue a statement that said it "condemns 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 came out before militants stormed the U.S. consulate.
Yet candidate Mitt Romney chose to respond with a vile political attack:
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. 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.And joining Mr. Romney in his politicization of the deaths of four Americans was RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, who tweeted (tweeted!), that:
Obama sympathizes with attackers in Egypt. Sad and pathetic.Sad and pathetic indeed. And of course, a lie.
So what was President Obama's response?
I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America's commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt later issued a statement saying that:
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.But they shouldn't be shocked. Mitt Romney is running for office, for Pete's sake, and this gross politicization of the murder of four American diplomatic officers proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Romeny will do and say anything to win.