In the hours after the deaths of US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, President Barack Obama promised justice and criticized Mitt Romney for his earlier remarks on the tragedy.
The ambassador and other Americans were killed in an attack by Muslim protesters on the US consulate compound in Benghazi, Libya. Media reports indicated on Wednesday that the attack may have been planned in advance.
The president worked to get across the message that the Libyan government will work hand-in-hand with the US to address the deaths.
“We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice will be done,” Obama said from the White House Rose Garden. “Make no mistake, justice will be done.”
Hours before the president made his remarks, the Obama administration faced criticism from Mitt Romney. The Republican presidential candidate grew angered over a statement released late Tuesday that condemned "efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.”
"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," Romney said.
The statement was later retracted by the administration, which claimed it was not cleared before release. Romney said the situation was sending mixed signals to US citizens about the Obama administration's feelings on the attacks.
Obama said Romney overstepped with his comments: "Gov. Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later, and 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 that you make are backed up by the facts and that you've thought through the ramifications before you make them."