At the outset of violent protests against U.S. compounds in the middle east, the Romney campaign criticized the Obama administration for appearing sympathetic to the perpetrators who started the violence. But, since the release of the Romney campaign's statement, the actual timeline of events suggest Romney was wrong in his accusation.
In his latest column for CNN.com, John Avlon says Romney went too far in trying to score 'petty political points with incomplete information.'
John Avlon is also a CNN contributor and member of the OutFront political strike team.
Romney foreign policy attack was disgraceful
"Partisanship ought to end at the water's edge" is a longstanding adage of American politics.
But in the hours after the death of the first U.S. ambassador killed in decades, Mitt Romney - panicked as his poll numbers have slipped - punched hard against the president, unleashing an unwise, inaccurate and un-presidential attack on the Obama administration.
The fog of war applies to the confusion about the timeline of ugly incidents in the Middle East on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. But when the U.S. Embassy in Cairo released a statement condemning the obscure and intentionally inflammatory film that had already given rise to riots, the Romney campaign saw an opportunity to amplify its "Obama-Apologizes-For-America" narrative.
Despite the fact that U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya came under attack after that embassy statement, with crowds besieging the Cairo embassy and the consulate in Benghazi in the late hours of September 11th, the campaign released a statement from Romney saying, "It's disgraceful that the Obama Administration's first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks."
This barely qualifies as dog-whistle politics. At a moment when sovereign U.S. soil was under attack by Islamist radicals, the Romney campaign tried to tie the president to those extremists attacking us, saying that he had "sympathy" with their cause.