(WASHINGTON) — Although Mitt Romney is facing criticism for the timing and tone of his reaction to the violence against U.S. diplomats in the Middle East, it’s worth noting that the animating force behind his sentiment is not new.
The original Cairo Embassy statement — issued before the attacks on the diplomatic missions occurred — clearly struck a chord with Romney. His initial statement and his decision to stand by it today speaks to an idea that forms the central theme of his 2010 book and it’s a talking point he uses almost every day on the campaign trail: “No apology.”
As Romney said Wednesday at his news conference in Jacksonville, Fla.: “I think it’s a terrible course for America to stand in apology for our values, that instead when our grounds are being attacked and being breached, that the first response of the United States must be outrage at the breach of the sovereignty of our nation. An apology for America’s values is never the right course.”
It was of a piece with the statement issued by his campaign late last night in which he declared it “disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”
And it’s the same theme Romney hit in his Republican National Convention acceptance speech nearly two weeks ago: “I will begin my presidency with a jobs tour. President Obama began with an apology tour. America, he said, had dictated to other nations. No, Mr. President, America has freed other nations from dictators.”
The line appeared in his remarks last Saturday at a campaign rally in Virginia Beach, Va.: “I will not divide this nation. I will not apologize for America abroad, and I will not apologize for Americans here at home.”
And it’s all traceable back to the book Romney published in March 2010: No Apology: The Case For American Greatness.
“Never before in American history has its president gone before so many foreign audiences to apologize for so many American misdeeds, both real and imagined,” Romney writes in the book. “There are anti-American fires burning all across the globe; President Obama’s words are like kindling to them.”
He added, “If the president accepts that America is in an irreversible state of decline relative to the world, it may well come to pass under his stewardship.”
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