QUESTION: Governor Romney, do you think, though, coming so soon after the event really has unfolded overnight was appropriate, to be weighing in on this as this crisis is unfolding in real time?
ROMNEY: The White House also issued a statement saying it tried to distance itself from those comments and said they were not reflective of their views. I had the exact same reaction. These views were inappropriate. They were the wrong course to take when our embassy has been breached by protesters. The first response should not be to say, “Yes, we stand by our comments that -- that suggest that there’s something wrong with the right of free speech.”
QUESTION: So what did the White House do wrong, then, Governor Romney, if (inaudible) put out a statement saying (inaudible).
ROMNEY: It’s their administration. Their administration spoke. The president takes responsibility not just for the words that come from his mouth, but also from the words that come from his ambassadors from his administration, from his embassies, from his State Department.
They clearly -- they clearly sent mixed messages to the world and the statement that came from the administration and the embassy is the administration. The statement that came from the administration was -- was a statement which is akin to apology and I think was a -- a severe miscalculation.
QUESTION: Governor, some are...
QUESTION: (inaudible) talk about mixed signals, (inaudible) mixed signal when you criticize the administration (inaudible).
ROMNEY: We are having -- we have a campaign for presidency of the United States that are speaking about the different courses we would each take with regards to the challenges that the world faces. The president and I, for instance, have differences of opinion with regards to Israel and our policies there; with regards to Iran; with regards to Afghanistan; with regards to Syria.
We have many places of distinction and differences. We join together in the condemnation of the attacks on American embassies and the loss of American life, and join in the sympathy for these people. But it’s also important for me, just as it was for the White House last night, by the way, to say that the statements were inappropriate, and in my -- in my view, a -- a disgraceful statement on the part of our administration to apologize for American values.
QUESTION: Governor, some people have said that you jumped the gun a little in putting that statement out last night, and that you should have waited until more details were available. Do you regret having that statement come out so early before we learned about all the things that were happening?
ROMNEY: I don’t think we -- we ever hesitate when we see something which is a violation of our principles. We express immediately when we feel that the president and his administration have done something which is inconsistent with the principles of America. Simply put, having an embassy which is -- has been breached and has protesters on its grounds, having violated the sovereignty of the United States, having that embassy reiterate a statement effectively apologizing for the right of free speech is not the right course for an administration.