Romney hammers Obama on 'bumps in the road'
September 24th, 2012
03:23 PM ET
10 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. blue19

    For all the talk by the GOP about Obama not representing the interests of America in countries that are holding elections, how would McCain or Romney feel if the Iranians, Chinese or Russians openly say they need to have "influence" in the American election that represents their respective interests? While the GOP likes to talk about individual feedom, they certainly don't seem to grasp how it applies to day to day living. To e GOP, freedom means everyone doing what they want.

    September 24, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens was a failure as governor of MA, with his outsourcing MA government jobs to India, adding $2.6 billion to the MA debt, 47th in job creation, and increasing taxes 700 times. Based on Mittens track record, it is no wonder that Obama is up by 20 points in MA.

    September 24, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. cali girl

    Sniffit, you have the post of the day, totally. Kolob is just right out there, you get there wearing your magic undies.

    September 24, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |

    ALL life is precious. I don't hear Willard saying Iraq was a just war. 100,000+ Iraqis DEAD, 4,500 U.S soldiers DEAD, 100,000+ U.S. soldiers injured.

    September 24, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    Didn't you know? The only "news" reporting coming out of CNN anymore is Mitt Romney campaign talking points delivered to CNN every morning to be "hashed over" by CNN pundits. While I agree there is quite a lot that CNN owes it's readers, Mitt Romney talking points isn't one of those things owed to America ... or CNN readers.

    September 24, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." --B. Obama

    I guess the uhbama should have stuck with his blame the video excuse.

    September 24, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. myviewis


    You guys don't know if Mittens is wrestling with the reality that his family members are Mormon and the fact that he did talk about his friends he visited in Kolob and stayed with them for 3 weeks. You guys don't know Mittens 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 and the occasional alien. You guys don't know.

    You mean Mormons vs Muslims, the middle east, the ones that murdered our Ambassador and 3 others???????

    September 24, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. don in albuquerque

    I believe Mitt is the master of bumps in the road. Or as he calls it gaffes, misspeaks, misunderstandings ,etc, otherwise known as lies in laymans language. Go on Mitt, its been a few days. Shoot your mouth off about something else you know totally nothing about.

    September 24, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "Maybe we need not be involved in the Middle East at all."

    I'm sorry, but Orwell, Goering, Trotsky, Mousillini and Machiavelli all just laughed so hard they crapped their caskets. No the GOP/Teatroll mind, an America without a bogeyman is an America without a rudder.

    September 24, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. ghostriter

    OK, so was the interview recorded before the embassy event? If so, chalk up yet another Romney goof up.

    September 24, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. linda

    Come on Romney gives us something else besides picking apart a few words in a speech.....we know now you are going to whine about everything any other Leader in any and all other countries when they say something about you that you don't like........your the one that flubbed up after the attacks, trying to make yourself look like you had experience in this are the one that made a fool of yourself speaking like a fool when one of our Ambassadors was you want to make Obama look as bad as you....NO WAY.....he would really have to come off with something that sounds as arogant and stupid as you before you can turn this into something its not...and your are complaining that the Obama campaign is making you look bad and that they are saying things that aren't true about you....WHINE WHINE.....and you forget the lies you and Ryan really must take the midlle class for a bunch of FOOLS....OBAMA 2012

    September 24, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    -Four and The Door

    I dont see how a dead ambassador is a bump.
    Easy. He was assassinated by Al Qaeda during a campaign year when Obama/ Biden 2012's campaign is handing out bumper stickers saying Obama is Dead. Obama would prefer not to have to deal with this when he is more concerned about Mitt Romney's taxes.
    Freudian slip, junior? The only way you would care more about the ambassador is if you could find out if he had registered as a Republican. What a hateful person you are.

    September 24, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. Boo

    Robme wants another what else is new?

    September 24, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  14. The Real Tom Paine


    You guys don't know if Mittens is wrestling with the reality that his family members are Mormon and the fact that he did talk about his friends he visited in Kolob and stayed with them for 3 weeks. You guys don't know Mittens 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 and the occasional alien. You guys don't know.
    Give him a break, he's a god in training. Its hard being a deity.

    September 24, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  15. ghostriter

    sniffit, I really do believe we should not be doing anything over there. Let them figure out their own issues. We don't have the time or money right now.

    September 24, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  16. v_mag

    What we don't need in the middle east is to be doing the bidding of Israel. We are not, nor should we act like, Israel's bum boy. Israel is a nuclear power, but we don't ever mention that. We're worried about Iran becoming nuclear capable, but Israel is just as volatile as Iran and could easily cause a third world war.

    The fundamentalists think it's neat that Israel exists. It gave a big boost to the validity of heir prophesies when Israel came into existence. To many of us, it only has the significance that another unstable country has the nuke, and that country wields way too much influence with our government.

    We should demand that Israel get rid of its nukes. Rob-money and the right wingers want Obama to be tough in the middle east? I think he should, too. He should once and for all stand up to Israel.

    September 24, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  17. Marie MD

    Bump in the road? Can you come up with any original phrase. Stop it! Stop it!
    It turns out that all that spray tan he used at UM in Coral Gables/Miami was for naught. They couldn't find enough students willing to waste their time on his speech to those Latinos who are now turning, in numbers, into the new blacks (47% speech, look it up) so they bussed people in who chanted his name. The first introduction didn't go as he thought it would so he threatened to leave without speaking until the idiots made sure it all went his way.
    Typical bully bishop ways.

    September 24, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. rs

    I think you mean "Muslim"- and in fact you would be incorrect in your assertion. Thanks for playing.

    September 24, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. linda

    Spin it how you will Romney......but Obama's BUMP IN THE ROAD is nothing to what you have said......47% are victims, You don't care about them, Corporations are People, don't have to worry about the poor...get the have said some really stupid things.....trying to make Obama look unable to handle this country just shows us more and more that you are the one that's not capable......

    September 24, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  20. cali girl

    Robmey in a press statement after Ann's plane last week had an emergency landing after smoke filled the plane"
    "When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no — and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem."
    I guess he has not flown commercial at all when the stewardess goes over the safety issues, including drop down oxygen masks.
    Oh yes, for sure, this is the guy we want as President? Next thing you know Air Force one will be turned into a convertible.

    September 24, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
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