I thought the White House might decide to keep quiet on this and hope that the media doesn’t press too hard tomorrow. And I think they would have, if not for the fact that Romney’s surely ready to go nuclear on them for it and force the issue. Remember, thanks to a few openings created by Mitt (most notably forgetting to thank the troops in his convention speech), Obama’s angling to frame himself as President Foreign Policy for the stretch run to election day. How would that play if he’s suddenly being hammered tomorrow for Apology Tour 2012?
So here’s the walkback. You know who’s going to have a fun day on Wednesday? Jay Carney.
The White House is disavowing a statement from their own Cairo embassy that apologized for anti-Muslim activity in the United States.
“The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government,” a senior administration official told POLITICO…
“Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a Tuesday statement.
Here’s the last tweet from Cairo embassy account, posted three hours ago as I write this:
Really looking forward to hearing Carney explain which part of the embassy’s earlier statement failed to represent the views of the U.S. government. I want to hear it in his own words; hopefully the press corps will make him elaborate. If the White House rejects the idea that criticizing religion constitutes an “abuse” of free speech, then good for them. But let’s get it on the record, because we all know there’ll be more incidents of embassies stormed and people shot over “insults” to Islam — quite possibly in Afghanistan — and the tune’s likely to change later as political circumstances demand.
Exit quotation from the Muslim Brotherhood’s Twitter account:
— Ikhwanweb (@Ikhwanweb) September 11, 2012
Update: Like I was saying, Obama had no choice but to retreat. Here comes Mitt:
I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. 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.