Mitt Romney is attacking President Obama for telling 60 Minutes that the recent turmoil in the Middle East amounts to “bumps in the road.”
Speaking to ABC News Monday, Romney called Obama’s comments “quite revealing,” adding:
His indication that developments in the Middle East represent ‘bumps in the road’ is a very different view than I have. The president—I can’t imagine saying something like the assassination of ambassadors is a bump in the road, when you look at the entire context: The assassination, the Muslim brotherhood president being elected in Egypt, 20,000 people killed in Syria, Iran close to becoming a nuclear nation these are far from being bumps in the road. They represent events that are spinning out of the kind of influence we’d like to have. We’re at the mercy events rather than shaping the events in the Middle East.
In the 60 Minutes interview Sunday, Steve Kroft asked Obama whether the recent events in the Middle East gave him pause about supporting some of the governments that have come to power. Obama replied:
Well, I’d said even at the time that this is going to be a rocky path. The question presumes that somehow we could have stopped this wave of change. I think it was absolutely the right thing for us to do to align ourselves with democracy, universal rights, a notion that people have to be able to participate in their own governance. But I was pretty certain and continue to be pretty certain that there are going to be bumps in the road because, you know, in a lot of these places, the one organizing principle has been Islam. The one part of society that hasn’t been controlled completely by the government. There are strains of extremism, and anti-Americanism, and anti-Western sentiment. And, you know, can be tapped into by demagogues. There will probably be some times where we bump up against some of these countries and have strong disagreements, but I do think that over the long term we are more likely to get a Middle East and North Africa that is more peaceful, more prosperous and more aligned with our interests.