Even Ruth Marcus is dropping her usual “both sides do it” position and says Mittens is out of line and owes somebody an apology.
After all, the Republican presidential nominee wrote a book in 2010 premised on, and titled with, the false notion that Barack Obama has been going around the world apologizing for America….
…Romney repeated this falsehood in his acceptance speech in Tampa, claiming that Obama launched his presidency “with an apology tour.”
Oddly enough, Romney’s evidence for Obama’s alleged apologizing is bereft of certain words — like apology, or sorry, or regret. To Romney, apologizing means never actually having to say you’re sorry.
Oh, snap, Ruth.
So when the U.S. Embassy in Cairo released a statement condemning “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims,” Romney was predisposed to see it through the distorted, if politically convenient, lens of apology.
Ruth Marcus goes on to explain what had actually happened and why Mitt’s interpretation of events held no water. Then she said,
As irresponsible as Romney’s behavior Tuesday night, even worse was his move to double down at a Wednesday morning news conference, following word of the deaths of the U.S. ambassador and three other American diplomats in Libya. Tuesday night, before the killings were known, was amateurish. Wednesday morning was unconscionable.
“It’s never too early for the United States government to condemn attacks on Americans and to defend our values,” Romney said, apparently believing that the embassy should have been able to foretell the attack before it occurred. In the space of three sentences, he criticized the administration for standing by the embassy statement and accused it of sending “mixed signals” by disavowing it.
The question and answer session was even worse. “Simply put, having an embassy which . . . has been breached and has protesters on its grounds, having violated the sovereignty of the United States, having that embassy reiterate a statement effectively apologizing for the right of free speech is not the right course for an administration,” Romney said.
Leaving aside his flawed timeline — later tweets from the embassy combined criticism of anti-Muslim bigotry with condemnation of the attacks — Romney’s interpretation of what constitutes an apology is once again far off-base. …
… There is something disgraceful happening here, but it doesn’t involve a comment by an obscure embassy spokesman. It is Romney’s cynical, dishonest effort to take advantage of this national tragedy for his own political ends.
I read through the whole thing looking for the “both sides do it” shoe to drop, and it didn’t drop. Of course, Ruth probably will follow this up with a column criticizing Obama for something and conceding that Romney has a point, somehow.
But, Mitt, when not even Ruth Marcus will cover your ass, you are in big trouble. David Broder must be spinning in his grave.
Update: Mitt issues a statement nearly identical to the one issued by the White House that was supposed to be an “apology.” Spine of marshmallow, or what?