Stephanopoulos started the interview by asking Romney to respond to President Obama's statement that Romney had a tendency to shoot first and aim later.
MITT ROMNEY: Well, early on, with the developments in Egypt, the embassy there put out a statement which stayed up on their website for, I think, 14-15 hours.But when Romney released his statement, that's not what he said. Instead, he said that the Obama administration's "first response" to the assault on the consulate in Benghazi was to "sympathize with those who waged the attack." But as he now admits, the embassy statement was released before the attacks. It simply could not possibly have expressed sympathy with attackers who had not yet attacked.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: But before the protestors had breached the wall.
MITT ROMNEY: Well, it first went up before they breached the wall. But it stayed up. And they reiterated the statement after they breached the wall, even after some of the tragedy in Libya, the statement stayed up. And I thought the statement was inappropriate and pointed that out.
Faced with the incontrovertible falsehood of his attack, Romney tried a new defense:
And of course, the White House also thought it was inappropriate.Wait, what? Now Romney thinks the White House supported his criticism of the statement? Surely, he can't be serious. Yes, the White House said the embassy's statement did not reflect official administration policy, because it didn't, but they never condemned the statement as being an expression of sympathy with America's enemies.
Yet Romney was serious:
I made the statement- my point at the same time, I think, the White House did. So I think we said about the same thing there. I just thought the statement was wrong.That's as insane as it is inaccurate. The White House never said the statement sympathized with the killers—because it didn't. Instead, the White House said the statement wasn't official White House policy—because it wasn't. Yet Romney says "I think we said about the same thing there."
"The same thing?" Is he fucking nuts? Remember, these were his words on Tuesday night:
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.That's basically an accusation of treason, and I can assure you, the White House never said anything of the sort. But now Romney is claiming that he and the White House said "about the same thing" and that they'd said it "at the same time" that he did.
That's not true, but if it were true, then what was the point of Romney's statement? It's absolutely baffling. His argument basically comes down to this:
I was right to accuse the president of sympathizing with the people who killed Americans because before the killings the U.S. Embassy in Egypt released a statement that stayed online after the killings. And the proof that I was right is that the president said basically the same thing that I did at the same time that I said it.
Seriously, this is insane. Romney is saying that he has no regrets about accusing the president of sympathizing with America's attackers because at the same time that he made the accusation, the White House was saying the same thing. Huh? Absolutely crazy. Completely unhinged. And I don't know what's worse: if Romney doesn't realize that what he's saying is mind-numbingly nuts—or if he thinks other people will be convinced by his absurd argument.
But wait: it gets worse. When George Stephanopoulous asked him what he thought of the movie that prompted the statement from the U.S. Embassy in Egypt, here's what Romney said:
I think the whole film is a terrible idea. I think him making it, promoting it showing it is disrespectful to people of other faiths. I don't think that should happen. I think people should have the common courtesy and judgment- the good judgment- not to be- not to offend other peoples' faiths. It's a very bad thing, I think, this guy's doing.So after issuing a statement on Tuesday night slamming the embassy for rejecting the message of a bigoted movie ... Mitt Romney now does the exact same thing? In fact, he actually went beyond what the embassy said because he specifically attacked the filmmaker. The embassy's statement was a more general statement—and it recognized the "universal right to free speech."
This whole thing would be crazy enough if Romney at least disagreed with the embassy's statement. But it's clear he agrees with it. All this drama that he created was over nothing. And his completely unhinged behavior should disqualify him as a serious candidate. This week, Mitt Romney demonstrated for the world to see that he is unfit to be president. He might have been a great private equity CEO. But I don't want his finger anywhere near the nuclear button.