The violence at the US embassies in Libya and Egypt—and Mitt Romney's decision to try to make political hay of them—have thrust foreign policy to the forefront of a campaign that has until now been centered around the economy, the AP observes. Romney has been getting lambasted both for political opportunism, and for mangling the facts (including, the Washington Post notes, by some fellow Republicans). Some Republicans anonymously likened it to John McCain's ill-fated response to the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008, Politico reports.
And yet other Republicans tell Politico this is an opportunity for Romney to better define his foreign policy stance, and even attack the Democrats on the Libya mission. Donald Rumsfeld posited that criticizing the president was "the responsible thing to do," to make the differences between the candidates clear. Paul Ryan attempted to use the moment to define the ticket's foreign policy stance yesterday, ABC News reports, describing their philosophy as "the peace through strength doctrine." A handful of Republicans have come to Romney's defense as well. John Bolton said Romney was right to point out "that this weakness in the White House is coming home to roost." And Jon Kyl went further, saying the embassy's statement was like telling a rape victim "you asked for it because of the way you dressed," the Hill reports.