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2012: U.S. ambassador to Libya killed

The American ambassador in Libya was killed and the U.S. embassy in Egypt was attacked. Mitt Romney’s response was: “It’s 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.”

Secretary Clinton released this statement about the time of Romney’s: “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet,’’Clinton said. ‘‘The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.”

The context: A film made in the U.S. is what triggered the attacks. The film in question: “Variously titled ‘Innocence of Muslims’ or ‘Muhammad, Prophet of the Muslims,’ the movie was allegedly produced by Coptic Christians in Egypt with help from U.S. Koran-burning pastor Terry Jones, and portrays Islam’s holiest prophet as a violent womanizer,” the New York Daily News writes.

The U.S. embassy in Cairo “put out a statement that apologized for an anti-Muslim film being circulated by an Israeli-American real estate developer and soon ‘came under widespread criticism for failing to defend free speech in the face of threats of violence. Egyptian protesters rioted anyway, breaching the embassy walls and tearing down the American flag,’” Political Wire notes, per Politico. Politcal Wire: “Romney attacked the administration claiming its first response was ‘to sympathize’ with the attackers -- even though the embassy statement came out before the attack on the embassy.”

And: “The Obama administration is disavowing a statement from its own Cairo embassy that seemed to apologize for anti-Muslim activity in the United States. ‘The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government,’ an administration official told Politico.”

USA Today: “The violence in Libya and Egypt is now an issue in the United States presidential campaign.”

“Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says Sept. 11 is a time to renew the resolve of protecting Americans against ‘evil’ attacks,” AP writes, adding, “Back in Washington, President Barack Obama marked the day by participating in solemn ceremonies at the White House and the Pentagon.”

Dick Cheney suggested yesterday that President Obama didn’t deserve credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden, the New York Daily News writes. "If President Obama were participating in his intelligence briefings on a regular basis then perhaps he would understand why people are so offended at his efforts to take sole credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden. Those who deserve the credit are the men and women in our military and intelligence communities who worked for many years to track him down. They are the ones who deserve the thanks of a grateful nation."

A Pew poll finds 60% rated Obama’s convention speech as either excellent or good, higher than the 53% who said so for Romney. But Bill Clinton overshadowed Obama’s speech with 29% saying it was the highlight vs. 16% who said it was the president’s speech. That might not be bad news for Obama, considering the speech eviscerated Republicans’ arguments over the last four years and was very much on message, as compared to the Clint Eastwood speech. The Eastwood speech was called the highlight of the GOP convention 20%-17% over Romney’s speech.

USA Today picks up on First Read’s analysis of state-by-state ad spending. The amount now is up to $579 million in total spending, with Romney ad Obama ads going up in Wisconsin and other places. 

Iran looms as Netanyahu said this yesterday: "The world tells Israel, 'wait, there's still time.' And I say,'Wait for what? Wait until when?' … "Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel."