Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney lambasted President Barack Obama on Monday for referring to recent events in the Middle East as “bumps in the road.”
"His indication that developments in the Middle East represent bumps in the road is a very different view than I have," Romney told ABC News on Monday, referring to the president’s appearance on CBS’ “60 Minutes”.
"The president, uh, 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,” he said. “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 [of] events rather than shaping the events in the Middle East,” Romney added. “And the president doesn’t have time to actually spend time with leaders of these nations particularly Bibi Netanyahu, I find that very troubling.”
Asked by CBS' Steve Kroft whether the recent crisis gave him "any pause about" his support for governments in the Middle East, Obama said he knew it was "going to be a rocky path."
"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," he said. "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."
In June of 2011, when the president described “bumps on the road to [economic] recovery,” Romney released video of supporters saying “I’m an American, not a bump in the road.”