The Right Politics

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney told it like it is regarding the demonstrations and protests in Egypt by saying that President Barack Obama had an apologetic tone when making statements about the Middle East unrest. He portrayed the president as being weak on foreign policy in general in the face of the uprisings.

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Following the initial comments, the horrifically unexpected happened as four Americans were killed in Libya at the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi. Of the four dead was Christopher Stevens who was the U.S. Ambassador to Libya in the Obama administration.

Along with the criticism of Obama, after the Libyan attacks, Romney gave his hard-line style of condemning the attack which showed an obvious distinction between himself and Obama.

As unfortunate as the events are, Romney’s comments about Obama ring true. Prior to the tragic event and even after, President Obama appears to excuse and apologize for the horrendous events that take place in the world – including those against Americans. This is not what Americans want from their president. It is not what makes us strong, appear strong globally, or appear trusting to our allies. Via Obama, we are thrust into a state of foreign affairs that our nation has never been in before – weak appearing.

Yes, Obama clearly said that the assault on the Americans must be investigated and those guilty must be brought to justice. Having heard the comments of Obama and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the comments delivered with the most authoritative leadership came from Mrs. Clinton. Besides more authoritative-sounding, Clinton was simply more denouncing of the otherwise unspeakable event.

Naturally, the politicians on the “left” took issue with Romney having said anything critical – even with the words he spoke prior to the deadly attack. Yet, Romney’s statements asserting that Obama is apologetic and display weakness on foreign policy are words that speak for many Americans who feel the same.

Romney has been criticized for his timing of his Obama criticism. The truth is, those offended by Romney’s critical comments would never accept his criticism – regardless of when they were delivered. Yet, they are comments that should be spoken because he speaks for many.

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No, Obama didn’t bow this time. No, he didn’t directly apologize. But the insinuation is continually there with President Obama. In his short statement, Obama referred to the alleged event that led to the attack by saying: “While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others…” This should not be included as an apologetic sidebar to the rage over the deadly attack – regardless of how true that sentiment is. Obama needs to be tough in the face of such evil against Americans.

Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan spoke accurately on the matter later in the day in Wisconsin. His words were right on target as he said: “Peace through strength works. It is very important that a president speak with a singular voice representing our principles and values. We don’t want people around the world wondering what our values are.”

Of all the comments made regarding Obama and this tragedy, the most relatable words came from Ryan when he also said: “We do not want a world climate where our adversaries are so tempted to test us and our allies are worried about trusting us. That is unfortunately the path we are on in America.”

These words from Paul Ryan are what Americans who disagree with President Obama’s foreign policy “tone” – and his comments during moments of national and global crisis – have been trying to say for four years.

About Scott Paulson

Scott Paulson writes political commentary for and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.


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