Romney Thwacks Obama For Calling Libya And Other Hot Spots 'Bumps' | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Romney Thwacks Obama For Calling Libya And Other Hot Spots 'Bumps'

It's taken as a given that American voters in 2012 aren't as concerned about foreign policy as they are the domestic economy.

It's also accepted as true that on matters of foreign policy, President Obama has an advantage over his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who lacks significant firsthand foreign policy experience.

But Romney has made it a point lately to show that he's not ceding foreign policy and national security to Obama.

The latest example came Monday when Romney went after Obama for a turn of phrase the president used in his 60 Minutes interview. During the interview, Obama described as "bumps in the road" the unrest in the Arab world in the aftermath of the Arab Spring that removed strongmen from power.

During interviews and on the stump, Romney said Obama's use of the idiom demonstrated the president didn't understand the magnitude of the developments in North Africa and the Middle East.

Romney criticized the president from the stump as he campaigned in Pueblo, Colo., on Monday. In an interview with NBC News' Peter Alexander, Romney said:

"The president characterized as bumps in the road — the developments of the Middle East, we just had an ambassador assassinated. Egypt has elected a Muslim Brotherhood or person as president. Iran is on the cusp of having nuclear capability. We have Tumult in Syria and also Pakistan and I don't consider these bumps in the road. ..."

Alexander followed up by asking Romney if he really believed the president was minimizing the deaths of the four Americans in Benghazi.

ALEXANDER: "Governor, in your heart of hearts do you genuinely believe that President Obama, when he referred to bumps in the road and was not deeply — perhaps a better way to put it, is do you genuinely believe in your heart of hearts that President Obama wasn't deeply saddened by the loss of four American lives in Libya — that he was speaking more widely about policy in that region not about the loss of lives that took place there at the consulate and embassy."

ROMNEY: "When the president was speaking about bumps in the road he was talking about the developments in the Middle East and that includes an assassination, it includes a Muslim Brotherhood individual becoming president of Egypt, it includes Syria being in tumult, it includes Iran being on the cusp of having nuclear capability, it includes Pakistan being in commotion. There are extraordinary events going on in the Middle East and considering those events either one of them or all of them collectively as bumps in the road shows a person who has a very different perspective about world affairs and the perspective I have."

Romney is clearly sharpening his attacks as he readies for the presidential debates next month; one of the three meetings between the two candidates will focus entirely on foreign policy and national security.

But even as Romney pounced on the president for his choice of words about issues occurring on the other side of the globe, the Obama campaign sought to remind voters of Romney's comments at a Boca Raton, Fla., fundraiser about the "47 percent."

It so happens that at that fundraiser, Romney also said he would "work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity" if a foreign crisis presented itself before the election.

An Obama campaign spokeswoman, Lis Smith, said in a statement:

"Today, we saw what Mitt Romney meant when he told a closed door group of high-dollar donors that he would 'take advantage of the opportunity' to politicize an international crisis to help his campaign. He's purposely misinterpreting the President's words and making reckless statements about the death of four Americans in Libya, apparently for the sole purpose of his own political gain. Using this incident to launch political attacks should be beneath someone seeking to be our nation's Commander-in-Chief."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

A Punch Line In The U.S., Christmas Fruitcake Is Big In Calcutta

Seen as indestructible in the West, fruitcakes are indispensable in the bustling Hindu city. Bakers of all faiths have the ovens running round the clock to feed Calcutta's appetite for the cakes.
NPR

Inside The Indiana Megadairy Making Coca-Cola's New Milk

Coca-Cola got a lot of attention in November when it announced it was going into the milk business. In fact, its extra-nutritious milk product was invented by some dairy farmers in Indiana.
NPR

Nevada Congressman's Loss Exposed Raw Nerve In Democratic Caucus

One of the most unexpected Democratic losers on Election Day was Rep. Steven Horsford from Nevada. His defeat is about politics, but also about race.
NPR

2014 Hashtags: #BringBackOurGirls Made Nigerian Schoolgirls All Of 'Ours'

As part of a series on hashtag activism in 2014, Audie Cornish speaks with Obiageli Ezekwesili of the Open Society Foundation. Ezekwesili was one of the early promoters of the hashtag #bringbackourgirls, about schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria in April.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.