Romney: White House gave 'mixed signals' - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Romney: White House gave 'mixed signals'

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says it's never too early for America to condemn attacks on its sovereignty and says the White House gave "mixed signals" in its response to the breach of the American embassy in Egypt.

Romney on Wednesday condemned attacks against the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four U.S. diplomats, including the U.S. ambassador.

Still, Romney stood by his sharp statement Tuesday night criticizing the Obama administration. On Wednesday, he said that statement from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo was "akin to apology" and a "severe miscalculation."

Romney released this statement:

"I'm outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi.  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."

Romney's statement was issued before the demonstrators entered the compound and tore down the U.S. flag. It also came before the news of the diplomats' deaths.

It was the US embassy in Cairo, not the White House, that put out a statement decrying "the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others."

That statement was posted on the embassy's website before the deadly attacks on the embassy. The Obama administration told ABC News that no one in Washington had approved the statement.

President Barack Obama says Romney "seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later."

Obama, in an interview with CBS News' "60 Minutes," said Romney "didn't have his facts right" when he criticized U.S. officials for their initial response to protests at the U.S. embassy in Egypt.

White House press secretary Jay Carney read Obama's answer on a flight to Las Vegas, where Obama is scheduled to gave a campaign speech.

Obama said that as president, he has learned it's important to - in his words- "make sure that the statements that you make are backed up by the facts."

Asked if Romney's remark were irresponsible, Obama said he would let the American people judge that.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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