“Int’l chaos favors incumbent POTUS short term,” tweeted Mr. Sabato on Thursday morning. “Yet events can spin in many different directions. Best bet: Unsettled calm, campaign moves on.”
To recap, on the evening of Sept. 11, Romney issued a statement condemning what he characterized as the Obama administration’s “sympathy” for the rioters storming the walls of the US Embassy in Cairo. He based this on a tweet from the Embassy itself – sent prior to the breach of security – that reaffirmed US support for religious tolerance in light of the crude anti-Muslim film that had inflamed the mob.
The Embassy tweet had not been cleared by the White House. Minutes before Romney’s statement, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton issued her own release condemning the violence and saying there was no justification for the Middle East attacks.
Subsequent events showed the situation in Libya in particular was more serious than it first appeared. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died in an assault that US officials now suspect was planned by organized, armed militants, and perhaps by Al Qaeda itself.
Then at a press conference on the morning of Sept. 12, GOP nominee Romney doubled down on his critique.