In an interview, Romney declines opportunity to hit Obama back
September 13th, 2012
08:53 PM ET
2 years ago

In an interview, Romney declines opportunity to hit Obama back

(CNN) - Asked in an interview on Thursday, Mitt Romney declined to continue a terse exchange between himself and President Barack Obama. In the latest volley, the president asserted that his Republican challenger had not "thought through the ramifications" before issuing a statement sharply critical of Obama on Tuesday over the latest unrest in the Arab world.

"Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later, and as president, one of the things I've learned is you can't do that," Obama said Wednesday in an interview with CBS News. "It's important for you to make sure that the statements that you make are backed up by the facts and that you've thought through the ramifications before you make them."

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In his own interview with ABC News a day later, Romney declined to take an opportunity to hit Obama in return.

"No direct response when the president said you 'shoot first and aim later?' " Romney was asked.

"Well, this is politics," the candidate replied in one excerpt released by the news outlet. "I'm not going to worry about the campaign."

Obama was speaking of Romney's sharp criticism over the Obama Administration's response to attacks on U.S. posts in Libya and Egypt, including the killing of several Americans.

"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," Romney said in a late Tuesday statement. "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."

The next day, Romney hit Obama for having "demonstrated a lack of clarity as to a foreign policy."

Romney's allegation that administration expressed sympathy appeared to refer to a statement and tweets from the U.S. embassy in Cairo. The statement said the embassy "condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions... Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others."

His Tuesday night statement came as news broke that a consulate employee had been killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, but before it was known that one of four Americans to the American was the ambassador to Libya.

Obama campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt followed Romney's late Tuesday statement with one which read, "We are shocked that, at a time when the United States of America is confronting the tragic death of one of our diplomatic officers in Libya, Governor Romney would choose to launch a political attack."

And Obama went on offense in a Wednesday interview, accusing Romney of "a tendency to shoot first and aim later."

Also in the Thursday interview with ABC News, Romney reacted to the Federal Reserve's Thursday decision to implement a third round of economic stimulus known as quantitative easing, or QE3.

"What Bernanke is doing is saying that what the president is saying is wrong," Romney said of Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke in the interview. "The president is saying the economy is making progress, coming back. Bernanke is saying no, it's not."

Romney's statement in the interview was in line with what he has said previously on the subject of another round of quantitative easing.

"I think the Fed's first action - quantitative easing - was effective to a certain degree," he told CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger in August. "But I don't believe the QE2 - second quantitative easing had the impact they were looking for."

"I am sure the fed is watching and will try to encourage the economy," he said. "But I don't think a massive new QE3 will help this economy."

– CNN's Gregory Wallace, Ashley Killouth, Kevin Liptak, and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report


Filed under: 2012
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. SafeJourney

    You know Mitt is completely out of his league when the Republican leadership and commentators are taking him to task. It's just incompetence and stupidity on Mitts part.

    September 13, 2012 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  2. myviewis

    Romney was correct in his comments regarding this comment issued by the embassy in Egypt, I have yet to hear Obama or anyone else say to Romney that what he criticized did not exist or it did not happen. The comment was made, it did happen and Romney addressed it. Obama and Democrats are just upset that they didn't get to seat back as they usally do and attempt to come up with some lame excuse for the killing of our Ambassador, the film, etc.... as they always do and somehow push it under the rug.

    "the embassy "condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions... Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others."

    September 13, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  3. maf

    The Dow responded to QE3 very positively! The economy is slowly improving quarter by quarter. Really tough pill to swallow for the GOP and Romney/Ryan!

    September 13, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  4. Ancient Texan

    As it turns out, Romney is the only one in this mess that has it right. The apology from the embassy to the terrorist was the official word of this administration because it was the only response from the administration. The video referred to in length by Hillary has nothing to do with the well planned strike on 9/11, a day of National grief for the U.S.

    September 13, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  5. Apollos

    Silence means consent, Gov Romney.

    September 13, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  6. Thomas

    "Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later, and as president, one of the things I've learned is you can't do that," Obama said

    GW Bush are you Listening ?

    September 13, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  7. Segun akinremi

    What obama is doing is not right and I advise him to wrog this decision please.

    September 13, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  8. enuff

    Now he shuts up. One step forward, two steps back, eh Romney?

    September 13, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  9. normajean @ verizon ,com

    Just minutes ago, I heard Bernanke speak on television and he was sounding very positive about the countrys future and his plans to help things along. I don't know what Romney is talking about.....but then he probably doesn't know either!!!!I'll just go along with Bernanke...thank you!!!!!

    September 13, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  10. Namejkane sfl a vote for the gop will cut your moms medicare and soc sec .can you afford to pay for them???

    Romney and Ryan might as well pack up and get on the clown bus and go home ,the worst gop ticket ever .the two total failures hold a record for lies and mis. Qs and how not to run a campaign never mind run the us government, total failures like bachmann ,cantor rove ,armey ,deley norqueist ,mc connell and brown!!!!!!

    September 13, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  11. normajean @ verizon ,com

    Romney owes the president .,at least. a "mea culpa" for his remarks about the Libyan problem!!!!!!!He was out of line to comment,at all!!
    !

    September 13, 2012 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  12. NamePat

    This Romney character is nothing but a loose cannon. God forbid if he wins in November..we will be at war in the Middle East in a nano-second.

    September 13, 2012 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  13. ronb

    We lost two retired Navy SEALS, too. What they do wrong Willard? You seem to be hell bent on blaming America for the murders! No, I get it. President Obama planned it all just to put you in the position you're in right now. You owe some American families an apology....right now. The rest of us can wait a day or two.

    September 13, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  14. Pander Bear

    Yeah, somebody finally told you to STFU unless they've written out a statement that you can read from your TELEPROMPTER Mitty.

    September 13, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  15. Randy, San Francisco

    It was a fight he couldn't win, appearing very unpresidential. All the political spin from his surrogates could not repair the damgage to his campaign.

    September 13, 2012 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  16. Republican who supports President Obama

    Willard knows he lost on this issue and is now backing away hoping we forget. He is a disgrace and a total joke.

    September 13, 2012 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  17. Republican who supports President Obama

    He had plenty to say before. Why the change. Oh he has his foot in his mouth from the bone-headed comment he made.

    September 13, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  18. Namejkane sfl a vote for the gop will cut your moms medicare and soc sec .can you afford to pay for them???

    In the middle of a storm ,you don't change captains. You keep the one who is keeping the ship sailing out of the storm ,that would be president Obama ,no time to hire a couple of bilge pump workers and hotdog car drivers ....

    September 13, 2012 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  19. Bernard obryant

    Obama have a five point lead over romney ryan and mitt need to buckle down and think of a new plan

    September 13, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  20. Carmelle

    Mitt, you lied. On so many levels, and you did so carelessly. Knee-jerk reaction. Period.

    September 13, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  21. Atasha

    Very proud of Romney

    September 13, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  22. NotFooledByDistractions

    Willard finally had the good sense to stop digging, problem is...too late.

    September 13, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  23. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens has done enough damage with his attack on our embassies.

    September 13, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  24. beevee

    From the statements Romney makes aboout the economy of the country without any mention of a concrete plan on how he will improve it he comes across as dumb as one can get. He should go back to his old business where the only thing he has to do is screw people and send jobs overseas. That is not the way government works to help people.

    September 13, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  25. Name rt.

    Romney didnt say anything wow!

    September 13, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
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