Romney ad extends 'apology tour' criticism
October 23rd, 2012
10:25 AM ET
7 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. Martha in CF

    The only apology I know that Obama has made is to the countries who suffered under Bush's two terms.

    October 23, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F

    I find it interesting that the republicans think they are uniting the country by attacking women's rights, workers, veterans, seniors, college students, the poor, the middle class, and minorities.

    October 23, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. carlos

    and willard should apologize for being soooooooooooooooo........fill the blanks______________________ and please do not run out of space...hehehehe

    October 23, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F

    "Pants on fire" is something that Romney is used to.

    October 23, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. aussiemick

    Too many people have drunk the Kool Aid. If Obama told you the sky was falling you would cower down with your arm above your heads. He has told many untruths and you take his word as gospel. You little people need to read books, educate yourself and please stop watching MSNBC, the View or David Letterman as your source of information

    October 23, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  6. Chris

    Pretty sure the 'apology tour' line was taken out back and shot last night. Several times.

    Fact checkers poured over the transcripts of every speech at every stop Obama made outside the U.S right after he was elected. The words "Apologize" and "Sorry" weren't in any of them. Not even once.

    October 23, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  7. Susan

    What else did we expect Mr. Kanner to say. After all he works for the Obama campaign!

    October 23, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  8. John

    CNN supporting Obama surprising. Martha Bush was 4 years ago get over it. A a independent I get tire of all the "news" channels biases for Obama or Romney. What happened to just reporting news not opinions?

    October 23, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. Thomas

    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.


    Barbara ,
    Romney and his five sons never servers in he military .

    When I liston to Romney and Ryan , I hear the voices of GW Bush , Karl Rove , Donald Rumsfeld , Dick" Cheney , Paul Dundes Wolfowitz , Richard Perle . Only its a deferent time as Romney stated in the second debate.

    October 23, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  10. Oahugal

    I remember when Obama did his apology tour.. it is TRUE. This article EVEN confirms what Romney was talking about–

    "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.

    This WAS the apology tour.. blaming the US for the current relations..Embarrassing

    October 23, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  11. Jim bob

    The tone of the the sjpeeches in question was apologetic. That is why Romney characterizes the speeches as apologies.

    October 23, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  12. Robert

    CNN fact check???? Really???? When did they start doing that????

    October 23, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
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