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President Barack Obama walks to board Marine One September 12, 2012 on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C.
Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET -- President Obama responded today to Mitt Romney's attack on him for his administration's handling of the violence in Egypt and Libya, saying the Republican presidential nominee has "a tendency to shoot first and aim later."
"There's a broader lesson to be learned here, and, you know, Gov. Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later," Obama said in an interview with CBS's 60 Minutes. A portion of the interview aired in a CBS Special Report. "As president, one of the things I've learned is you can't do that. It's important for you to make sure that the statements you make are backed up by the facts, and that you thought through the ramifications before you make them."
Asked if he thought the statements made by Romney were irresponsible, Obama said, "I'll let the American people judge that."
Romney yesterday criticized the Obama administration for a statement released by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo that he charged was "disgraceful" and sympathized "with those who waged the attacks.”
In an interview with CBS 60 Minutes, Obama says Romney 'has a tendency to shoot first and aim later'. Msnbc's Martin Bashir reports.
The statement from the embassy did not appear to "sympathize" with attackers, but condemned a fringe video made in the United States that criticized the Prophet Mohammed and was blamed with inflaming radicals in the Middle East who scaled the embassy walls in Cairo and killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other State Department officials.
The Cairo embassy statement also came out hours before the attack on the Cairo embassy even took place. Romney today did not back away from his statement, prompting criticism from some in the diplomatic community.
Traveling with reporters aboard Air Force One, White House press secretary Jay Carney shared more excerpts of the 60 Minutes interview in which the president suggested Mitt Romney was inappropriately making a campaign issue out of the violence in Libya.
According to Carney, the president noted that the original Egyptian Embassy statement, which the Romney camp condemned, “came from folks on the ground who are potentially in danger” and was not meant to defend the attacks but rather to “cool the situation down” with infuriated protesters outside the embassy.
After Republican challenger Mitt Romney criticized the White House's response to the attacks on U.S. diplomatic compounds in Libya and Egypt, President Obama had strong words for the GOP presidential candidate. NBC's Chuck Todd reports.
“My tendency is to cut folks a little bit of slack when they’re in that circumstance rather than try to question their judgment from the comfort of a campaign office,” the president said. “It appears that Governor Romney didn’t have his facts right,” he continued, according to the transcript.
Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki added that while Thursday evening’s rally would be more subdued and that the president would open his remarks with a tribute to the fallen diplomats, it was “still a campaign event.”
NBC's Ali Weinberg contributed to this report.