Romney hammers Obama on 'bumps in the road'
September 24th, 2012
03:23 PM ET
6 years ago

Romney hammers Obama on 'bumps in the road'

Pueblo, Colorado (CNN) – President Barack Obama's suggestion that chaos in the Middle East merely represents "bumps in the road" to democracy was met with scathing criticism from his Republican rival Monday at a campaign stop in Colorado.

Speaking on a runway at a Pueblo airport, Mitt Romney said Obama's comments belittled the gravity of the situation unfolding overseas, including the death of America's ambassador to Libya two weeks ago.

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"These are not bumps in the road, these are human lives," Romney said. "These are developments we do not want to see."

In a "60 Minutes" interview that aired Sunday, Obama said recent unrest in Libya would not prevent the country from developing a functioning government that adequately represents the Libyan people.

"I think it was absolutely the right thing for us to do to align ourselves with democracy, universal rights, a notion that people have to be able to participate in their own governance," Obama said in the interview. "But I was pretty certain and continue to be pretty certain that there are going to be bumps in the road because, you know, in a lot of these places, the one organizing principle has been Islam."

Romney said Sunday those comments were "surprising to people" given the unrest developing in a list of international hotspots.

"Bumps in the road?" Romney asked. "We had an ambassador assassinated. We had a Muslim Brotherhood member elected to the presidency of Egypt. Twenty thousand people have been killed in Syria. We have tumult in Pakistan and of course Iran is that much closer to having the capacity to build a nuclear weapon."

Romney's comments came the same day Obama traveled to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly. Unlike years past, Obama has no bilateral meetings scheduled with foreign leaders, a decision that has been met with sharp criticism from the president's rivals.

At the White House briefing Monday, Press Secretary Jay Carney said Obama regularly meets with foreign leaders, and that his duty as commander-in-chief "never ends."

"You are constantly engaged in matters of foreign affairs and national security. And that's what this president is doing," Carney said.

In Colorado, Romney echoed his criticism of the president's handling of foreign events that began two weeks ago following the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, as well as an attack on the American Embassy in Cairo.

"This is time for a president who will shape events in the Middle East, not just be merciful or be at mercy of the events of the Middle East," Romney said. "I will get America on track to have the kind of leadership we need so we can shape the future of this part of the world and keep America strong."

Lis Smith, a spokeswoman for Obama's campaign, said the GOP nominee was "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," Smith said.

CNN's Rachel Streitfeld and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Oh brother. Is there NOTHING that Mittens won't take out of context and intentionally attach an incorrect interpretation to in order to create a straw man to burn?

    September 24, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    If Romney had ever lost someone whom he had appointed to a position, he would have never made a comment like that. However, seeing as how he avoided service in Viet Nam, and never incouraged his sons to serve either, only underscores where Mitt's real committment is: himself. A eager willingness to display his " leadership" by using a tragedy to score cheap points is not leadership. Once again, the aristocrat has shown why he is not fit for primetime.

    September 24, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. Lavaerne

    I almost feel sorry for Mitt Romney and his apparent desperation to try and change the conversation from him to Obama! If he were not so busy lying and scheming with his republicans buddies all year perhaps he would be polling better than what he is now. Come to think about it, I don't feel sorry for him at all!!!

    September 24, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. WP

    Nobody cares, Romney. You're done. Go home.

    September 24, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    Nom nom nom's that bait, Mittens? Would you like some more rope to go with it? Hey...while you're at it politicizing this more, why don't you do a campaign commercial using the images from the attack in Lybia...that'll go over super awesome.

    September 24, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |

    Vote Out ALL the Repubteaparty! Let's get rid of their wicked ways!

    September 24, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. ST

    Romney is starting to look like Sarah Palin. She always jumps on bad news and never come up with something positive to lift peoples spirit up. No one can win this way!

    September 24, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  8. NoKidding

    Obama can do no right, obviously.
    If Obama said there are no bumps in the road and everything is fine and dandy, Romney would slam him for being cluless about issues that face this country. So, there is no winning no matter what.

    September 24, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  9. PaulCat

    Romney, how low can you go?

    September 24, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  10. Jan

    There have been attempts by the United States/Presidents (by far more competent than Romney...if you can say he is competent) to RESHAPE EVENTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST and other parts of the world since we started getting involved in WORLD AFFAIRS...and to this date much has been accomplished, and much has not, INCLUDING PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST. That very nearly seems to be an Impossible Task, but BRAVE AND BELIEVING PRESIDENTS KEEP TRYING. Mitt Romney said HE WOULD KICK THE CAN DOWN THE I really don't feel he is qualified to offer any criticism against President Obama!!! THE THOUGHT OF HIM IN THE WHITEHOUSE IS TERRIFYING!!!

    September 24, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    I won't be watching the CNN debates, but I would like Candy Crowley to ask Mitt Romney what alternate universe he lives in. This man should never, ever be allowed within the grounds of the White House, let alone it's principle Resident in Chief. It's not even funny watching him pander anymore. Mitt Romney is, quite simply, beyond contempt.

    September 24, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  12. rs

    You just have to love Mr. Romney trying to be on all sides of an issue. From this story one might think that we were against the Arab Spring deomocracy movement (we aren't); you'd think no one ever died during a revolution (this one is just too stupid to argue); one might also think the U.S. had no previous involvment in the Middle East- How about Iraq? In overthrowing Saddam Hussein, we killed more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians, and turned 2 million more into refugees- Where was Mr. Romney then? Was he decrying that loss of life to Mr. Bush and the GOP. I think not.

    September 24, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. Namejkane sfl a vote for the gop will cut your moms medicare and soc sec .can you afford to pay for them???

    Romney the tax cheat has no plan for any issue except get rid of Medicare and soc sec and give himself another tax break ,if your stupid ,go ahead and vote for the gop loser and you deserve what you get ,Obama has my vote and I'm voting early so I can watch more gop lies and laugh !!!!

    September 24, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  14. Captain Awesom

    So a dead ambassador in Libya is a 'bump in the road', when it could have been avoided? It's amazing to me how the media continues to shield obama – although CNN is begrudgingly starting to report the truth. There were warnings in Libya by Ambassador Stevens himself and obama was busy hanging out with Jay-Z. This has all of the smackings of a Nixonian cover-up and no one seems to care. Especially the president.

    An American Ambassador died...Obama lied...

    September 24, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  15. Nelson Colorado Springs Co

    Romney still don't how the middle east work.

    September 24, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  16. scmom

    If the president said he had a bump on his backside this ignorant man would attack him. He is just sitting and listening just like a buzzard waiting on something to die. Hurry up November!!!!!!! Oh yeah, don't let voter suppression stop you from voting.

    September 24, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. Namejkane sfl a vote for the gop will cut your moms medicare and soc sec .can you afford to pay for them???

    Romney has nothing to say except to bad mouth president Obama ,sounds like bachmann ,another gop worthless gop loser who will lose in Nov along with the then four time loser romney ,
    Goof party !!!!!!!

    September 24, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  18. sonny chapman

    Does Mitt remember when Condi Rice called the Shia/Sunni slaughter in Iraq "Birth Pangs of Democracy" following our Invasion & "attempted" occupation. Repub. Politicians are soooo hypocritical.

    September 24, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  19. lmc11

    If Romney had referred to the deaths of US citizens as bumps in the road the media would have skinned him alive.

    September 24, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  20. Lisa P

    "This is time for a president who will shape events in the Middle East, not just be merciful or be at mercy of the events of the Middle East," Romney said. "I will get America on track to have the kind of leadership we need so we can shape the future of this part of the world and keep America strong."
    Sounds like Romney is looking to start a war. Nothing unites America like a war - just ask George W. Bush. Wonder how Romney proposes to pay for it this time? "We'll pay for it with their oil" doesn't seem to have worked too well... Maybe Romney could outsource the whole war to China. Maybe they could supply the soldiers as well, and Romney will just wave the flags and take the credit. Brilliant!

    September 24, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  21. Wake up People!

    Jesus Christ Willard! Can't you do anything besides attack?? What will you be railing about tomorrow?? When President Obama takes a crap that it doesn't smell like roses?? Do you have ANY REAL plans? And can you talk about anything besides President Obama? You're starting to act like Palin, whom we all know has a thing for President Obama. I know you wear mom jeans but do you have a thing for the POTUS too??

    September 24, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  22. myviewis

    Perhaps Obama's casual look of the unrest in the middle east has to do with him having family members that are Islam, Obama feels for his family and those feelings guide his actions and then we can't forget his visit to his friend's family in Pakistan for 3 weeks and those friends today might still be his good friends and do have an influence over him.
    Obama might be dealing with personal Islam issues and remaining inactive might be the only way he can deal with it.

    September 24, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  23. sonny chapman

    Do Neo-Cons really believe that America can micro manage the Middle East to get their desired result ?

    September 24, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  24. Pander Bear

    "These are not bumps in the road, these are human lives," Romney said.

    Yeah and so are the 47% of the population you degraded as moochers. You suck Romney. Can't wait until you get clobbered in November.

    September 24, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  25. DumbasRocks [R]s

    I hear the Obama campaign raided the local zoo to collect chimps to play Romney during Obama's debate prep. The problem? The chimps were all to smart to play Romney.....not a single chimp kept chewing on his foot while blaming Obama for EVERYTHING.

    September 24, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
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