President Obama Elaborates On Romney Criticism
While aboard Air Force One on Wednesday evening, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney read more quotes from a transcript of Obama’s “CBS News” interview, which makes up one portion of a larger package in this Sunday’s edition of “60 Minutes.”
From the pool report:
“I think most Americans, Democrats or Republicans, understand that there are times when we set politics aside, and one of those is when we’ve got a direct threat to American personnel who are overseas,” President Obama said.
“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 talk, making sure that our No. 1 priority is the safety and security of American personnel.”
“It appears that Gov. 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 form Secretary Clinton, it came from people on the ground who are potentially in danger. 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,” Obama said.
“I do have to say that, more broadly, we believe in the First Amendment. It is one of the hallmarks of our Constitution that I am sworn to uphold, so we’re always going to uphold the rights of individuals to speak their minds. On the other hand, this film is not representative of who we are, and our values, and I think it is important for us to communicate that. That’s never an excuse for violence against Americans, which is why my No. 1 priority and my initial statement focused on making sure that not only are Americans safe, but that we go after anyone that would attack Americans.”
Obama said the U.S. will “remain vigilant,” and that “even as we apply pressure on al Qaeda and other elements that are affiliated in big chunks of the world, such as North Africa and the Mideast, we’ve got a lot of dangerous characters, and we’ve got to make sure we’re continuing to apply pressure on them. And that’s something I’m determined to do.”