Romney blasted by GOPers for jumping gun, politicizing death of US ambassador to Libya

I just went through the video of Romney’s presser, and just going through a portion of the 11 minutes, I found 15 more smirks throughout the video.  It’s starting around four minutes that the smirks begin and don’t end.  Every time he’s done talking, he smirks.  Here are 15 or so, there are many more.
Is this the expression of a head of state publicly honoring the deaths of American citizens?

These last two show Romney after he’s done with the press conference, and is walking away.  This is where AP, below, caught him smirking.  Note how the smirk doesn’t stop – it stays.  This wasn’t just one errant photo.

UPDATE: Sarah Palin joined Mitt Romney and RNC Chair Priebus in jumping the gun and politicizing the attack on the US embassy and consulate in Egypt and Libya. Note Palin’s statement. Not a word about the US ambassador murdered. Zero. No mention of his name, no mention that even an ambassador was killed. No, Palin’s statement, as usual, is her typical self-aggrandizing partisanship. But when Palin found out, with the rest of us, that it wasn’t just “an American official,” but a US ambassador and three other Americans, who were murdered – she doesn’t say boo.

THIS JUST IN: Romney caught smirking, twice, while doing press conference about murdered US ambassador to Libya. There are two photos, not one – this wasn’t just an odd moment where the camera caught an odd expression. The man was smirking during and while leaving a press conference about the murder of a US ambassador in the middle of a growing and major foreign policy crisis.

Check out this first photo of Romney leaving the press conference, thinking no one can see his face. Smug, happy with himself, as though he pulled an “I gotcha” on President Obama rather than somber about the fact that Americans lay dead and our country is now embroiled in a major foreign policy crisis. Romney is, instead, pleased. With himself. Romney’s reaction: He smirked.

Jed at DailyKos caught a second instance of Romney smirking, self-assuredly, while discussing the murder of Americans in a major foreign policy crisis.

To suggest that the man is not ready for prime-time would be putting it lightly. He’s smiling,
happy, content at a moment of national crisis when American lie dead?

Now let’s play devil’s advocate. Maybe Romney was just incredibly uncomfortable assuming the role of a leader on foreign policy, so he couldn’t control his emotions. Is that really any better? That the man is so inexperienced that he uncontrollably smirks during foreign policy crises? Imagine the message that sends.
_____

From Ben Smith at Buzzfeed:

“Foreign Policy Hands Voice Disbelief At Romney Cairo Statement”: “Bungle… utter disaster…not ready for prime time… not presidential… Lehman moment.” And that’s just the Republicans.

“They were just trying to score a cheap news cycle hit based on the embassy statement and now it’s just completely blown up,” said a very senior Republican foreign policy hand, who called the statement an “utter disaster” and a “Lehman moment” — a parallel to the moment when John McCain, amid the 2008 financial crisis, failed to come across as a steady leader.

He and other members of both parties cited the Romney campaign’s recent dismissals of foreign policy’s relevance. One adviser dismissed the subject to BuzzFeed as a “shiny object,” while another told Politico that the subject was the “president’s turf,” drawing a rebuke from Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol.

“I guess we see now that it is because they’re incompetent at talking effectively about foreign policy,” said the Republican. “This is just unbelievable — when they decide to play on it they completely bungle it.”

“Its bad,” said a former aide to Senator John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. “Just on a factual level that the statement was not a response but preceding, or one could make the case precipitating. And just calling it a ‘disgrace’ doesnt really cut it. Not ready for prime time.”

A third former Republican, a former Bush State Department official, told BuzzFeed, “It wasn’t presidential of Romney to go political immediately — a tragedy of this magnitude should be something the nation collectively grieves before politics enters the conversation.”

Even Mitt Romney’s own campaign surrogate, attack-dog John Sununu, said he made a mistake by jumping the gun and politicizing the death of a US ambassador in Libya. From a National Journal article titled “Romney Campaign Denies Acting Rashly on Libyan Situation”:

Yet, even Romney surrogates questioned the timing of Romney’s statement, which referred to the death of an American official, and originally carried a midnight eastern standard time embargo to avoid political criticism on 9/11.

“They probably should have waited,” said former Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H. “You look at the way things unfolded, you look at the timing of it, they probably should have waited.”

Yesterday in Egypt and Libya, mobs attacked the US embassy and consulate after a video attacking the prophet Muhammad as a pedophile was promoted by that infamous Florida preacher who previous had threatened to burn the Koran. Crowds in both countries went wild, the US ambassador to Libya and three other American staff ended up dead.

Americans had no idea what was going on. Even the State Department and White House were saying that one American was dead, not four. We didn’t even know that a US ambassador had been killed.

And what did Mitt Romney do? He saw the death of Americans as a partisan political opportunity. He issued a statement blasting some tweets – yes, some tweets – from the US embassy in Cairo. Mind you, these were the folks who were still under attack, so it’s understandable how they might issue a statement to try to calm the mobs, a statement that might not have been well thought out.

It’s less understandable why Mitt Romney thinks that leader are supposed to immediately issue partisan statements during international crises, even when they don’t have the full information about what is going on, even when American lives are still in danger.

Not only does Mitt Romney have less experience than Sarah Palin in foreign policy (at least she could see Russia), but he doesn’t have the temperament to be commander in chief.

Christian Heinze
‏@CPHeinze
[Reagan speechwriter] Peggy Noonan: “I don’t feel that Mr. Romney has been doing himself any favors in the past few hours.”

[Bush-Cheney 04 campaign chairman] Matthew Dowd
‏@matthewjdowd
Romney react feels a lot like ready, fire, aim.

@BuzzFeedBen: If you think the eye-rolling at Romney is just coming from the MSM, call up some Republican foreign policy hands.

@jonathanalter Romney’s timing on politicizing the killing of US ambassador is not just dumb but a sign of desperation.

Garance Franke-Ruta ‏@thegarance
Romney is using the occasion of the death of a US ambassador in Libya to condemn Obama for some social media dip at the Cairo embassy.

Anthony De Rosa ‏@AntDeRosa
This statement makes Romney seem small, not presidential


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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