President Obama slammed rival Mitt Romney Wednesday for criticizing his administration over the violent attacks in Egypt and Libya that left four dead in the Libyan city of Benghazi, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens.
"Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later," Obama told CBS News on Wednesday. "As president, one of the things I've learned is you can't do that. It's important for you to make sure that the statements you make are backed up by the facts, and that you thought through the ramifications before you make them."
Obama said he’ll "let the American people judge" whether Mitt Romney made Palin-esque remarks on Obama's leadership, which have been widely condemned, even by prominent Republicans, for their premature and aggressive nature.
In response to an earlier statement released by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Romney accused the Obama administration of being "disgraceful" and apologetic for American values in regards to an inflammatory film on Islam's Prophet Muhammad.
The embassy in Cairo released a statement on Tuesday denouncing "the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions."
The timing and context of Romney’s rant came under fire. The embassy statement came out hours before protesters stormed the Cairo embassy and before U.S. officials confirmed four diplomats were killed at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
While no one was hurt in the Cairo incident, the deadly attack on American officials in Libya suggests a more sophisticated operation. The possibility an al-Qaeda inspired Islamist militant group carried out the attack hasn’t been ruled out, U.S. officials told NBC News.
The timeline of these recent events, and how they continue to unfold, could play an important role in the upcoming November election.
The final presidential debate between Obama and Romney scheduled for October 22 will focus solely on foreign policy issues.