By Glenn Kessler (The Fact Checker at The Washington Post)
Some six hours before protesters gathered at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, at 12:17 p.m. local time Tuesday, the U.S. Embassy issued a statement condemning “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” Thanks to the miracle of Twitter, and retweets, an impression emerged that the statement was issued in response to the protests, rather than the release of a YouTube clip that defamed the prophet Muhammad.
That in turned sparked a blast from GOP nominee Mitt Romney, saying, “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.”
We will leave aside the politics of the statement — or Romney’s decision to stand by it.
But because Republicans have frequently likened President Obama to Jimmy Carter, we were curious to learn how candidate Ronald Reagan responded to the worst foreign policy disaster on Carter’s watch — the failed mission to rescue U.S. diplomats in Iran, resulting in the deaths of eight servicemen.