Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., is slamming Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for his hasty comments during the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya.
The raid of the consulate was allegedly sparked by an American video mocking Islam’s founding prophet and resulted in the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others.
In a campaign statement released before the killing, Romney accused the Obama administration of sympathizing with protestors who attacked the consulate. The GOP nominee’s remarks were referring to a statement from the U.S. embassy in Egypt, which condemned the anti-Islam video.
Yarmuth says the death of the four U.S. diplomats is disturbing and underscores the volatility of the Middle East, but that Romney’s rush to judgment shows the GOP nominee is intemperate.
“Governor Romney’s initial reaction, an instinct to turn a tragedy into a political opportunity is despicable and disqualifies him to serve as President of the United States,” he says.
While congressional Republicans have been less critical of the Obama administration in the aftermath, Romney reiterated his criticism of the president at a press conference Wednesday. He added that an apology for American values is never a correct course of action.
The Romney campaign’s comment have been questioned by more than just the usual Democratic critics, however. In a discussion on Fox News, The Wall Street Journal‘s Peggy Noonan delivered this jab to the GOP nominee.
“I was thinking as he spoke, I think I belong to the old school of thinking that in times of great drama and heightened crisis, and in times when something violent has happened to your people, I always think discretion is the better way to go,” Noonan said. “When you step forward in the midst of a political environment and start giving statements on something dramatic and violent that has happened, you’re always leaving yourself open to accusations that you are trying to exploit things politically.”
CNN has obtained a Romney campaign memo outlining how to deal with the backlash.
“Anybody who rushes to judgment as Mitt Romney did last night is making a horrible mistake and is jeopardizing efforts to both bring the perpetrators to justice and also to calm what is a very, very volatile situation,” says Yarmuth.