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Romney did not have his facts right: Obama
PTI
Washington, September 13, 2012
First Published: 12:18 IST(13/9/2012)
Last Updated: 14:46 IST(13/9/2012)

President Barack Obama has accused his Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney of not checking facts before slamming his foreign policy, in particular handling of the attack on US missions in Libya and Egypt.

"It appears that Governor Romney didn't have his facts right," Obama told the CBS news in an interview according to the excerpts released by the White House.

"There's a broader lesson to be learned here and Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later. And as President, one of the things I've learned is you can't do that, that it's important for you to make sure that the statements you make are backed up by the facts, and that you've thought through the ramifications before you make them," said the US President.

Obama, according to White House Press secretary Jay Carney, was responding to a question on the allegation coming from Romney in particular the statement issued by the US Embassy in Cairo, in which it appeared to be apologetic of the US-made movie, which is considered to be cause of protests in Egypt and Libya.

Embassy put out a statement in response to a situation that was developing on the ground, and that was hopefully meant to calm down a situation that could potentially have put American personnel in danger, Carney told reporters.

"I think most Americans, Democrats or Republicans, understand that there are times where we set politics aside, and one of those is when we've got a direct threat to American personnel who are overseas. And so I think that if you look at how most Republicans have reacted, most elected officials, they've reacted responsibly, waiting to find out the facts before they talked, making sure that our number-one priority is the safety and security of American personnel," Obama said.

"It appears that Governor Romney didn't have his facts right. The situation in Cairo was one in which an embassy that is being threatened by major protests releases a press release saying that the film that had disturbed so many Muslims around the world wasn't representative of what Americans believe about Islam, in an effort to cool the situation down. It didn't come from me, it didn't come from Secretary Clinton; it came from folks on the ground who are potentially in danger," he said.

"And my tendency is to cut folks a little bit of slack when they're in that circumstance, rather than try to question their judgment from the comfort of a campaign office," he said.

Obama said he believes in the First Amendment, which is one of the hallmarks of the American Constitution.

"So we are always going to uphold the rights for individuals to speak their mind. On the other hand, this film is not representative of who we are and our values, and I think it's important for us to communicate that. That's never an excuse for violence against Americans, which is why my number-one priority -- and my initial statement -- focused on making sure that not only are Americans safe, but that we go after anybody who would attack Americans," he said.


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