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.
robme reminds me of my little brother, when we were growing up everything i said or did, he would run and tell my mommy. this is the same thing this idiot is doing. every time obama says something , he tries to capitalize on it , and spin it his way in order to sound relevant.
But of course Mitt does not want to talk about the problem in the Middle East that he fanned the flames of.
It is just sad the way Romney latches on to every little thing Obama says, and takes it out of context. Does Romney believe that developing a democracy is an easy process without bumps in the road? If so, he has no business leading our country. Romney should get by now the reason he is losing is because he clearly cannot put together anything credible and if you listened to him, Obama has done nothing right at all for 4 years, which is just ridiculous. Good campaign this business savvy man is running....
8 years of NEOCON under Bush is more than enough...America should lead by exemple not being a bully!
Pfffffffffft! Mittens thinks there's no reason to work for peace in the Middle East, that we should just hope that "something" happens, and simply kick the can down the road.
Meanwhile, he wants to go to war with Iran ...
Typical Repub chicken-hawk!!!
I want to read one lib try to justify obama's ridiculous statement that this is just a bump in the road. he is a puny little man.
"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."
Wow. What a load of irrational barf.
"We had a Muslim Brotherhood member elected to the presidency of Egypt," says Romney, solidifying his complete ignorance and short-sighted view of foreign affairs and when to speak and when to keep his mouth shut. Not content to stop with insulting the people of England, Palestine, China, etc., Romney has now taken to insulting the Egyptian people for their selection of their choice for the leader of their own country.
I guess no one gave Romney the memo that when countries overthrow their leaders and become free and democratic like the United States, they too have earned the right to elect their leaders as they see fit, even if another country might not be too thrilled with their new leader's religious affiliations.
Would it be justified in Romney's world view if __________<--– [insert name of country of choice here] were to intervene in the elections of a free and democratic America in order to ensure that a member of the Mormon cult were not elected to the presidency of the United States?
If this jerk is actually elected to lead the United States, he will no doubt have us at war with any country that is not lead by a member of his Mormon religion that he and his cult followers believe is the one true faith, one true religion, and one true church.
Just keep talking Romney, your level of intelligence is on display for the whole world to see, and it's stunningly ignorant.
@myviewis: You should change your name to "I transcribe Fox talking points," because your comments are always dumb and reactionary.
President Obama visited a friend's family in Pakistan ... when? "those friends today MIGHT still be his good friends" and "do" have an influence on him? President Obama "might" be "dealing with personal Islam issues" ... And just how is ordering Osama bin Laden and several top al Qaeda leaders killed being "inactive"?
OMG! OK, you are always saying you are from a foreign country ... tell us, which one? And are you male or female? And what is your faith? And the faith of ALL your family members?
Because, as you said, EVERYTHING you say and do MIGHT be guided by others!!!
@myviewis: you are losing it, becoming more unbalanced with every ignorant post.
I dont see how a dead ambassador is a bump.
CNN has the obligation to explain that the supposed simultaneous interviews shown on " 60 minutes " Sunday evening with Mitt Romney and president Obama was actually two interviews given to Scott Pelley and Steve Croft at different times of the month of September.
The interview with Mitt Romney was given to Scott Pelley within the last few days before the actual airing of the program, and the interview with Steve Croft of president Obama was actually given on September 10th or there abouts, which was before the Embassy attack in Libya that killed four Americans.
The notion that president Obama`s interview was given at the same that Mitt Romney`s was, is misleading and dishonest at best and is a lie at most.
The " bump in the road " that Obama was referring too had been stated before September the 14th/15th, when the upheaval erupted in Libya, so if CNN has a story to tell about the " bump in the road " that Romney is attributing to Obama and those four Americans deaths, it would behoove CNN to at least explain the true context of the Romney claim.
Obama's ENTIRE presidency is a bump in the road..........
So now that Romney has given up on 2012, will he run again in 2016?
@kayla: "robme reminds me of my little brother, when we were growing up everything i said or did, he would run and tell my mommy."
Yep, I've got three kids and Mittens acts like they did when they were four years old ...
Just putting this idea out there: Is George W. Bush dead or incapacitated? We haven't seen him in an awfully long time, and no one on either side will speak his name.
Along with those tax returns, Mittler, I wanna see you trot out your hero George W. Bush. You know, they guy they cloned you from?
The debates are going to be fun! I'm predicting Mittens loses it at some point, stamps his feet and starts bawling a la Boehner, while Ann Romney from the wings says, "Stop it. This is hard."
Unbelievably disrespectful and desperate of Romney. That is not what the president meant, and he knows it.
Again, Romney is trying to turn our national tragedy into his political posturing. Reprehensible behavior and not presidential material.
Myviewis is definitely NOT working with a full deck. She, he, or both continue to spew the hateful Faux Noise. I don't even read what they type anymore. I skip to the next post.
A Desperate Situation
@myviewis: you are losing it, becoming more unbalanced with every ignorant post.
You guys don't know if Obama is wrestling with the reality that his family members are Islam and the fact that he did talk about his friends he visited in Pakistan and stayed with them for 3 weeks. You guys don't know Obama personally so you don't know what the man is dealing with, wrestling with. Give me a break, for all you know he is getting phone calls from his aunts, grandmother, brothers and friends. You guys don't know.
Candidate Mitt Romney all he's doing at this late stage of the campaign is only attacking whatever the President says or does...oh wait...isn't that what the GOPteaparty did for the last three and almost four years???......this is the home stretch to election day....desperation in the GOP Romney camp, is an understatement.....they know this election has been lost.....is late in the fourth quarter and they're defending their own goal line....they have three hail marys......(three debates).....to try and pull off a miracle....this election has been decided....the President is only a few electoral votes to cross the 270 goal line......wait and don't be surprised on the insulting language by the GOP during the last few weeks....and an intrusive in US election speech at the UN....by Netanyahu......it's going to get naste and tremendoulsy embarrasing....
No matter what anyone points out here, factual or otherwise, everyone disagrees with everything. What I really want to see is the people on this blog run for political office because you are all, obviously, the smartest people on the planet. You can solve any issue, dissect any problem, and fix anything with some smart ass remarks. Wake up people. No politician cares for you- not President Obama, not Mitt Romney, nor Pelosi or Boehner or Reed or McConnell. They are in it for themselves. The bottom line is to do what is best for you and your family, and dare I say this?......screw everyone else.
Who cares what Unfit Mitt put out there. No One Cares..............he is so unfit
Republicans.... all for less government in our lives (except our bodies), and MORE government in OTHER countries lives. Sorry, Hannity and republicans, if Egypt wants to elect the Muslim Brotherhood in democratic elections, then so be it. Or do you not understand the concept of elections that aren't "rigged" to produce the results you want??
I am always amazed at the enormous size of Mittens" crowds. This is a big one – must be 75 people. The GOP will really regret nominating such a flawed candidate.