Romney ad extends 'apology tour' criticism
October 23rd, 2012
10:25 AM ET
5 years ago

Romney ad extends 'apology tour' criticism

(CNN) – Mitt Romney's campaign released a new television ad Tuesday picking up on an attack waged repeatedly by Romney that President Barack Obama went on an "apology tour," expressing regret on behalf of the United States to other nations, as president.

The Republican nominee's attack proved an effective trigger during Monday night's final presidential debate, prompting an aggressive exchange on their respective foreign policy credentials.

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The 30-second spot begins with Romney's voice from the final debate: "The president began with an apology tour going to various nations and criticizing America. I think they looked at that and saw weakness."

The Romney campaign did not released the size of the ad buy or where it will air.

The ad titled "Apology Tour" continues with a clip of Romney, seated at the debate roundtable in Boca Raton, Florida, directing his remarks at Obama.

"The reason I call it an apology tour, you went to the Middle East and to Saudi Arabia and to Turkey and Iraq. You skipped Israel, our closest friend in the region. You said that America had dictated to other nations," he said.

The ad concludes with Romney saying: "Mr. President, America has not dictated to other nations. We have freed other nations from dictators."

During Florida's debate Obama responded pointedly to his opponent's attack, contrasting his visit to Israel as a candidate and then-Illinois Senator in 2008 to Romney's foreign tour earlier this summer.

"When I went to Israel as a candidate, I didn't take donors. I didn't attend fundraisers. I went to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum there, to remind myself the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel will be unbreakable," said Obama, also touting his funding of the Israeli Iron Dome missile defense program.

A CNN fact check of Romney's critique of Obama's foreign policy tactics showed the Republican nominee's claim of an "apology tour" is false.

When the president began his term in 2009, he gave a number of speeches in the Middle East aimed at forging better ties with nations in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. In these speeches, Obama did mention U.S. flaws as a part of larger narrative about repairing ties and building friendship with those nations but did not go so far as to apologize for America.

In the Florida debate, Romney, however, said repeatedly said that Obama had apologized for the U.S. on an international stage - and it's not he first time the former Massachusetts governor has used on the "apology tour" criticism.

"I will begin my presidency with the jobs tour. President Obama began his with an apology tour. America, he said, had dictated to other nations. No, Mr. President America has freed other nations from dictators," said Romney during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in August.

Romney also used the attack at last week's second presidential debate in New York saying, "President Obama's policies throughout the Middle East began with an apology tour."

Obama campaign spokesman Danny Kanner responded to the ad saying that after losing the debate, "Mitt Romney is going back to the well – the old standby false attack alleging that the President apologized for America."

"It wasn't true last night just as it wasn't true throughout the course of this campaign – in fact, fact checkers continue to call it a blatant falsehood. With this new ad, Mitt Romney once again proved there is nothing he won't say to get elected," said Kanner. "But, voters should beware – his reckless and wrong foreign policies would take America back to a more dangerous time and reduce our standing in the world."

–CNN’s Joe Sterling contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Foreign Policy • Mitt Romney • Presidential Debate
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    I want to see Mittens' apology tour after he loses. First stop, Koch Industries. All aboard the Sad Train!

    October 23, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. ThinkAgain: Hey, networks, fact-check the debates in real-time and put it in the crawl!

    Mittens is lying again *yawn*. President Obama did not say "We're sorry." He never apologized for the United States.

    What he DID do was rebuild the foreign relationship that had been left in tatters because of GW Bush's failed foreign policy – the very same foreign policy that Mittens wants to pursue.

    Only a fool will vote Republican on Tuesday.

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane choice

    October 23, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  3. Andrew

    Don't let something like the constant debunking of this argument let it stop Romney from continuing to push it, and i think people are over hearing this BS.

    October 23, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  4. Darlis

    How much evidence do we need that truth does not matter to Mr. Romney nor his right wingers.. I do suspect that they are coming to the numbing realization that the general electorate are not the only ones that he has lied to.... he lied to them, over and over to get the nomination.. sorta what the tea party and Rush Limbajgh deserve.. fooled you didn't he! he will say anything to get elected. Worse, he might say anything if elected... This is a man whose only overwhelming desire is to be what he considers the most powerful in the world, and he will do or say anything to help him get there. He is so scary.

    October 23, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  5. JEN

    Is this all Romney has!!! What a joke!!!

    October 23, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. gr8 usa

    Keep doubling down on something that has been fact checked by many independent sources and proven to be false, Mitt. You wouldn't know the truth if it jumped up in front of you and yelled, "BOO"!

    October 23, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. Anonymous

    Shaking my head in laughter. Romney is STILL struggling to keep his base two weeks before the election using this debunked over again, and over again, and over again, and over again, and over again, and over again ... lie.

    Got to love the FOX folks that eat these lies up. Worse yet, these are the fools CNN has spent so many hours trying to court away from FOX News to no avail. While they LOVE to come to CNN to spread the lies, they aren't about to give up those darlings at FOX who feed their viewers nothing but anger and delusions 24/7.

    Psst: CNN. These folks want the lies to spread ... not be debunked with fact checks.

    October 23, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. tee1227

    Mullah Abdul Rahman, Taliban Commander In Northern Afghanistan, Captured. Is this a apology hmmm i think not

    October 23, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. Steve

    Mitt is right. Obama is having some "Romnesia... as he puts it. Obama doesn't seem to remember or is willing to admit his apology tour early on. Many Americans remember his words then and remember them now as the election approaches. I'm from Ohio and I voted for Mitt yesterday. Romney is much more presidential and believable.

    October 23, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  10. Keep Colorado Blue

    Romney has lied all through his campaign, why would he let facts get in the way now?

    October 23, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. Sniffit

    Mittens can't run on the truth.

    October 23, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  12. Johnny Bo

    The apology tour was just the beginning of ridiculous behavior by this current president. If his plan was to divide the country, ruin the economy, and fill the country with illegals then mission accomplished!

    October 23, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  13. Sheon1

    Romney tells another lie, how is this news?

    October 23, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  14. Thomas

    "When I went to Israel as a candidate, I didn't take donors. I didn't attend fundraisers. I went to Yad Veshem, the Holocaust museum there, to remind myself the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel will be unbreakable," said Obama, also touting his funding of the Israeli Iron Dome missile defense program.

    A CNN fact check of Romney's critique of Obama's foreign policy tactics showed the Republican nominee's claim of an "apology tour" is false.

    Romney / Adelson
    One Casino under God 2012

    October 23, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  15. v_mag

    Rob-money's strategy has always been to lie, and then double-down on the lie, even when everyone knows it's a lie. That's what he's doing with this line of attack.

    The funny part is, after the Bush regime, the whole Repugnant Party owes the entire world a big apology. But the "might makes right" party never takes responsibility for its horrendous mistakes. Man up, Republicans.

    October 23, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  16. tammyk tammy

    As outsourcer-in-chief Romney will begin with a Jobs Tour – to China and India and Mexico..... Glad he was honest about his true intentions for America. Crank up the Outsourcing Apparatus at Bain Capital !! Romney plans to make Cheney's deals for Halliburton look like small potatoes. Profits galore as he sells off America's pie piece by piece.

    October 23, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  17. Barbara

    I have been following the debates,I have to say Romney would be a better President than Obama. Obama is the most aroggant,disrespectful person I know. His comments on the Navy was so aweful,to try to act like he knows everything ,but knows nothing about our military considering he has never served in the military.He still has not answered to the people as to why our Ambassador was not protected and led to there death. He lies to protect himself and the poor people who believe him are volunerable to anything. He really tried to put down Romney and Romney was a better person.

    October 23, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  18. 333maxwell

    It is hard to digest that so many supposedly good people, are on board with the Governor full well knowing he is a going to rake them over once in a position to.

    October 23, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  19. rs

    The GOP is a fascinating tour through denial and fantasy. They make up the whole "Apology Tour" nonsesne (just like the "Birther" stupidity), repeat it a lot and then act shocked when they get called on it. Every fact check on this story proves it is false, repeating it endlessly is either an attempt to re-write history (what political party in a European nation did that in the thirties?)or to believe in one's own lies and fantasies.

    Either way the GOP is a really sick organization, and Mr. Romney- as a result of his denial of reality, walked into another ambush- this time Mr. Obama demonstrating that being a real world leader isn't about taking insanely rich donors to foreign nations to fund raise off of them.

    Romney is simply pathetic- money drives the man and little else. Not morals, not events, not care, not ethics- just money.

    October 23, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  20. The REAL Truth...

    Had I been Obama last night, after about 30 mins i would have asked Willard why he's even at the debate.. all he did was agree with everything Obama said, then tried to turn the subject back to the economy and that stupid $4300 comment. Mittens is not the man I want in the White House...

    October 23, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  21. maf

    Some more disingenuous effort from this version of the GOP!! Only 3 more weeks of trying to wade through what is the true platform of the Republicans!! Do your homework America. Mitt says he will "create" 12 million jobs, when there are reports issued that claim 12 million jobs will be created because of the recovering economy. MItt has NO PLAN!!!!
    I'm sorry, but if Mitt were President, he would go on an invitation tour, one where he would agree with every foreign leader he would meet. Mitt likes every idea he hears, that's the way he thinks, in the moment. . . not too much thought into long term.

    Get out and vote Democrats!! Unseat incumbent Republicans!! The only way to move forward is to control all branches of government.

    October 23, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  22. Anonymous

    Politifact says Romney is "pants of fire" liar for this Apology Tour nonsense. CNN in this article says it's false.

    Keep lying, Romney, it's all you can do.

    October 23, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  23. Jojola

    Romney's entire campaign platform has been built on lies, falsehoods, ducking and dodging, fear mongering and bullying. You take away all these adjectives and you have absolutely nothing to stand on. Thanks CNN for pointing out one more boldface lie from campaign Romney. However, it doesn't matter. They will continue to tout this "whooper" until they turn red in the face. Just like Romney’s foreign policy stance, integrity and facts are a thing of the past for republicans.

    October 23, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  24. tammyk tammy

    President Obama understood the need for diplomacy to repair the damage to America's reputation as a fair and judicious nation caused by Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld. Rendition and torture and telling lies to drum up a war are not American values. Considering Romney's summer tour of blunders and gaffe, I am truly afraid of what apologies will need to be made if America is stupid enough to elect him.

    October 23, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  25. kakaraka

    Poor Mitt with his dishonesties.

    October 23, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
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