Flashback: Bush condemned Danish anti-Islam cartoons, apologized for Iraq shooting


Mitt Romney has already been roundly criticized—and not just by liberals—for his politicized response to the Libyan crisis, in which he falsely accused the Obama administration of “sympathizing” with the Libyan attackers.

But as Ezra Klein pointed out while guest hosting The Ed Show Wednesday, it wasn’t just that Romney got the facts wrong. The notion that the U.S. embassy in Egypt betrayed American values by putting out a statement condemning religious bigotry would have come as news to the Bush administration. Here’s what President Bush’s State Department spokesman said in response to the 2006 Danish cartoons that lampooned the Prophet Muhammed and sparked violent protests by Muslims around the world: 

Anti-Muslim images are as unacceptable as anti-semitic images … as anti-Christian images, or any other religious belief.

As The New York Times reported at the time, “a core mission of [the Bush administration’s] foreign policy is to emphasize respect for Islam in the wake of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Indeed, as Klein went on to note, in May 2008, President Bush apologized to Iraqi president Nouri al-Maliki after an American solider went on a shooting spree in Iraq. “He apologized for that, in the sense that he said that we take it very seriously, we were concerned about the reaction, we wanted them to know that the president knew that this was wrong…” White House press secretary Dana Perino said at the time.

In addition to his rash statement on the Libyan crisis, of course, Romney has falsely accused Obama of going on an “apology tour,” seeking forgiveness from world leaders. Funny, there’s no record of Romney raising a peep.