Annual Census on Earnings, Poverty and Health Coverage

Has Romney Disqualified Himself?

[NOTE: You probably know all this by now, but I wrote my response early on Wednesday and was away from home the rest of the day. There may have been developments throughout the day that make this obsolete. I'll update today if necessary.]

category_bug_politics.gif The period of 9/11 mourning had not yet ended Tuesday evening and no one yet knew the terrible extent of the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and our embassy in Cairo before Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, issued this denunciation of the Obama administration that included an accusation that the president supports the north African militants:

“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,” he said.

That so-called presidential sympathy was a reference to a statement from the U.S. embassy in Cairo condemning an America-made film denouncing Islam. But the embarrassment (for Romney) is that the embassy issued the statement before the attacks “in an effort to head off the violence - not after the attacks, as Mr. Romney’s statement implies," according to The New York Times.

But worse than mere embarrassment is that Romney issued this crude and cynical political criticism of the president during an ongoing assault on American property abroad when no one yet knew nature of the violence, who, if anyone, had been killed and whose lives might still be at risk.

The irresponsibility of such a statement in the middle of an assault against Americans far away is breathtakingly obscene.

It doesn't take a Stanford or Harvard education to know that you don't go off half-cocked throwing around accusations that will be blasted around the world before you have any idea what's happened and what is at stake for our citizens there or our country in general.

Even so, in the light of Wednesday morning when we knew that the U.S. ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans had been killed, Romney doubled down on his political attack against Obama in a Jacksonville news conference:

"'It's their administration. Their administration spoke,' Romney said. "The president takes responsibility not just for the words that came from his mouth, but the words that come from his ambassadors, his administration, from his embassies, from his State Department.

“'They clearly sent mixed messages to the world and the administration, and the embassy is the administration and the statement that came from the administration is a statement that is akin to an apology and I think is a severe miscalculation.'"

Any presidential candidate – hell, any grownup - should know how (to borrow a term from Romney himself) severely stupid and dangerous it is to butt into an ongoing international emergency. Mitt Romney obviously does not.

There are many reasons to not vote for Mitt Romney and we at this blog have discussed the ones that most affect elders – that he wants to kill Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the Affordable Care Act while lowering taxes on corporations and the one percent.

Protecting these programs is important to the future of the country, to our children, grandchildren and beyond. I don't not dismiss those reasons to oppose Romney.

But now he has inserted himself into the administration's foreign policy in a violent and volatile part of the world that must necessarily be handled with one American voice and that can only the president's.

It becomes more clear day by day that Mr. Romney is not a serious person and in this case, he seems to be not rational; two U.S. missions attacked on the anniversary of 9/11, four Americans tragically dead and he believes an embassy press release somehow impugns Obama's patriotism.

It is bizarre behavior that calls into question Romney's judgment, character and responsibility. This episode should convince even diehard Republicans that this man is unfit to be president.

There are no stories at The Elder Storytelling Place today. Publication will resume on Monday 17 September.



Romney is completely unfit. After this, it seems impossible to take him seriously; he's a complete opportunist. The President, so far, seems to be reacting moderately and sensibly.

The ambassador killed in Libya appears to have been a man to mourn, one of our few Arabic speakers, a guy who liked the people to whom he had been posted.

Once again Romney shows how unfit he is for Public Office.

How many examples must he show before reasonable Republicans throw him out?

Yes, RMoney shot himself in the foot and put it in his mouth.

In face of the tragic loss of four Americans, he lusted for political gain and hastily attacked our President.

What a boor--and totally unfit to call himself an American much less a presidential nominee.
He does, however qualify for
yelling at empty chairs.

I am flummoxed that Ryan/Romney is the best we have to offer. This is the first time that I will vote AGAINST the Republican ticket for the leader of my world. What an embarrassment those two are. Ronni, Mr. Romney never was qualified.

It's just incredible what this r (lower case deliberate) will stoop to in order to get elected. Either that, or he is totally lacking in common sense knowledge about how to address a crisis such as has occurred. Oh how I wish some statesman or woman in his Republican Party would have the courage to come forth and denounce him. He's doing incredible damage to the United States image abroad and he doesn't even have the power of the White House. I shudder to think of the disasters he could potentially rain down on this nation if he were to be elected President.

Here’s the word’s of Romney that he will choke on later before this campaign is over:

“The president takes responsibility not just for the words that come from his mouth, but also from the words that come from his ambassadors from his administration, from his embassies, from his State Department.”

Knowing that neither the President or anyone else in the White House made any statement that could be taken as an apology, Romney wants to hold the president directly responsible for something surrogates on the other side of the world said under tense moments just prior to the protests at the Cairo Embassy. We’ll see how Romney applies this to himself when someone in his campaign inserts their foot once again in their mouth that Romney scrambles to disassociate himself from.

BTW, here’s an accurate timeline of the events that led up to the Cairo and Benghazi embassy protests and attack. There is also a link with this timeline that shows the amateurish video created by anti-Muslim right-wing extremist that set this whole tragic set of events in motion

Even the Republicans are critical of yet another one of Romney's distortions (and outright lies). If he didn't prove himself to be unfit for the presidency with his insulting behavior on his overseas trip, he certainly proved it this time. His lack of knowledge in Foreign policy is dangerous.

This terrorist act was a national tragedy and for him to use is to make a cheap political jibe is unconscionable. His lack of compassion for the feelings of the loved ones of the murdered men is disgraceful

Last night on the News Hour another Republican, Senator Coleman (?) defended him by making more stupid statements. It was beyond disgusting.

I will try to find the Senator's name I just referred to. My memory is not what it used to be and I may have it wrong. I will get back to you.

Once in a while I remember things correctly. Yes, the Senator was Norm Coleman.

If Romney was advised by others to interject himself into the crisis, it's frightening that he would listen to such advice. If he came up with this on his own, it's further indication of his poor judgement and lack of diplomacy and respect. Either way, it's clear that he is not fit to preside over the United States of America.

Romney has all the sense and sensibility of a stump. We are fortunate that he is demonstrating this now, as a candidate, while we can still ensure he never becomes president.

His ignorance and arrogance are a dangerous combination. He has shot himself in the foot too many times. Who can still take him for presidential material? The fact that Paul Ryan is wainting in the wings...even scarier.

Had anyone else heard that this video was promulgated by the same religious wing-nut in Florida who created a huge stir by burning the Koran? I heard on the radio that this guy had a big anti-Muslim event on 9/11 and that he had a "friend" from the Middle East who advertised it online and that's how it became so well known abroad. True or not?

I think Romney was hijacked by the extreme right wing of the Republican party, who then performed a lobotomy on him. Poor Mitt. He so wanted to be President. Here's hoping his wish does NOT come true...

I applaud you, Ronni!

"Inappropriate" would be a gross understatement; "Treasonous" fits fairly well.

We are Americans. We support our President in times like this. And that's the bottom line. I find it frightening that Romney would say this.

And you can bet I'm re-doubling my volunteer time for Obama. We cannot -- CANNOT -- afford Mitt Romney in the Oval Office!

Romney has shown his true self time and time again. Heaven help us all, if after all the warnings the hatred is still so strong toward the other side, he becomes our next president.

I, too, applaud you and thank you, Ronni. (And heaven only knows what Romney's "true" self is!)

Romney only opens his mouth to change feet!

It is truly terrifying to imagine having Romney in the White House. His habit of shooting from the hip with teeth clenched eyes tightly shut. Would be devastating for the security of the country, to say nothing of the effect on our image abroad. How could the RNC consider even momentarily his candidacy. On the other hand what were the alternatives? Cain? Perry? Bachman? Palin? Gingrich? Or Rick Santorum?
I guess they picked the biggest from a litter of runts

Romney is desperate. I think he may have once been ok, but he developed a split personality when he realized he'd have to cater to ultra concervatives to get nomination and retain base. Then, he started falling behind in polls and finally, his recent poor judgement. I think Jeb Bush may be the best the Republicans have to offer, but, maybe next time vs Hiliary.

Sadly, it appears that Mr. Romney suffers from a deficit of character.

So, all agree that a President Romney would be a disaster. What are we prepared to do to make sure he doesn't win? One thing, which I've done, is to volunteer at local Demo hdqtrs. to help our President get re-elected. Believe me, I'm waaayy outside my comfort zone, but the prospect of having a Republican in the White House again is decidedly more uncomfortable. Anyone else who feels as I do would be warmly welcomed and put right to work doing whatever they are able to do. I've joined the Iowa Seniors for Obama group as well. If you're internet comfortable, find Obama Dashboard and proceed from there. As elders, we have many connections and great ideas. We can all help.

Ronni: Excellent summary and comments. We're signing up to drive Dems and indep's to the polls in Nov, too.

FWIW I inquired about driving voters to polls at Dem. headquarters and they aren't offering that service this election in my community as I described -- confident enough no one will need that service and Obama will win Calif.

We all owe very large THANK YOU to commenters Kathi W, Tarzana, and Kay Dennison who are volunteers for Obama where they live. Joared in Calif. and myself in Oregon have shared anxiety about over-confidence in our states.

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