“I think the President’s comments on ’60 Minutes’ last night were quite revealing,” said Romney during a one-on-one interview with ABC News in which he launched into fierce critique of the President’s foreign policy decisions.
“His indication that developments in the Middle East represent bumps in the road is a very different view than I have,” said Romney. “I can’t imagine saying something like the assassination of ambassadors is a bump in the road, when you look at the entire context, the assassination, the Muslim brotherhood president being elected in Egypt, 20,000 people killed in Syria, Iran close to becoming a nuclear nation. These are far from being bumps in the road.”
President Obama was asked on “60 Minutes” last night if the events in the Middle East had given him any “pause” about his support for the governments that have come to power following the 2011 Arab Spring. Obama answered that it was the “right thing for us to do to align ourselves with democracy.”
“But I was pretty certain and continue to be pretty certain that there are going to be bumps in the road, because you know in a lot of these places, the one organizing principle has been Islam,” said Obama.
The president never specifically referred to the recent killing of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Libya as a “bump in the road.” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said this morning that Obama was not minimizing the violence in the Middle East with his comments and called the criticism by Republicans “desperate.”
But for Romney, Obama’s remark was another opportunity to criticize the president for his handling of foreign policy, which the Republican candidate says is only compounded by the fact that he will not meet with leaders from the Middle East during a trip to New York for the U.N. General Assembly.
“We’re at the mercy events rather than shaping the events in the Middle East,” said Romney. “And the president doesn’t have time to actually spend time with leaders of these nations, particularly Bibi Netanyahu, I find that very troubling. And a suggestion that the course America is on is not the right course in the Middle East.”