Romney’s attack a poor decision

Published 9:48 am Thursday, September 13, 2012

Daily Herald editorial

On Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stephens was killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. But before anyone had sorted out the facts or confirmed Stephens’ death, presidential candidate Mitt Romney used the riot in which Stephens and others died as an opportunity to criticize President Barack Obama. Attempting to capitalize on the deaths of brave American officials was a move inappropriate for someone who wants to hold the office of president.

It appears Romney was more concerned about making the morning news than waiting for the facts. He attacked the Obama administration, saying it sent “mixed signals to the world,” and during an appearance Wednesday when reporters asked Romney if the tone was appropriate given the circumstances, he again held firm, according to the Associated Press. It may be that the administration’s handling of some aspect of the matter was poor, but no one will really be able to judge that until the dust settles.

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Using Americans’ deaths for political gain is deplorable, but the timing — Romney had limited facts and was unclear of the timeline of when the Obama administration weighed in, according to the AP — makes it even worse.

If Romney wants to be president, he should tone down the rhetoric and stop politicizing this tragic event. His remarks Tuesday evening were premature and ill-advised.