(CNN) – Mitt Romney's harsh chiding of President Barack Obama's response to attacks in Libya and Egypt spurred a firestorm of backlash Wednesday from Democrats, who claim the GOP candidate is politicizing a tragedy that killed four, including the United States ambassador, in U.S. offices in Benghazi, Libya.
Following reports of the violence Tuesday, Romney's campaign released a statement calling the U.S. response "disgraceful." Romney delivered remarks Wednesday in Florida continuing his criticism.
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Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, said Wednesday while departing an intelligence briefing that Romney's comments were "about as inappropriate as anything I've ever seen at this kind of moment" calling on the GOP candidate to apologize.
"They are flat wrong. They demonstrate an insensitivity and a lack of judgment about what is happening now," said Kerry. "To make those kinds of statements before you even know the facts, before families have even been notified, before things have played out, is really not just inexperienced, it's irresponsible, it's callous, it's reckless. And I think he ought to apologize and I don't think he knows what he's talking about frankly. It's that simple."
Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois called the comments "entirely inappropriate" adding "we should put the campaign aside" and support the men and women in harm's way.
"I'm sorry that the decision was made in the Romney campaign to make this a political issue. It's not. It is a tragic human issue and we should be together as a nation in condemning this terrible violence against our ambassador and those who work in the Libya embassy," said Durbin, adding that it is time for the Romney campaign to "tone down" their rhetoric.
Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey said he stands with the Obama administration in condemning the attacks and offering condolences to the affected families, but pointed to Romney's comments as undermining the country on an international stage.
"At a time when we should be standing together against these senseless acts of violence, Mitt Romney offered an atrocious political response that undermines our unity in the face of threats to Americans around the world," said Lautenberg in a statement about the attacks.
CNN's Ted Barrett and Paul Courson contributed to this report.