Category: 2012 campaign

Nate Silver says “I told you so”

Nate Silver is the baddest-ass statistician to ever bother with politics. I could go on about his baseball sabermetrician background, but he just humbled half of the political world, again, many of whom swore he was too stupid or arrogant to know better. So why bother. He dead-nailed this election just like he did the last one. The pundits who called him partisan or wayward (or effeminate) have been humbled past recognition. Nate Silver tonight takes second trophy only with respect to President Obama.

Here were his odds on the contest:

10 to 1 against Romney. And the election was never close. Rush Limbaugh, Peggy Noonan and Michael Barone said it would be a Romney rout, and they were idiots. What a raft of mindless, baseless predictions. And while the popular vote continues to come in, let’s look at Nate again:

Here’s the latest count, 2:34 a.m. PDT:

Crunch those numbers and this is what you get:

The President is winning the popular vote, 50.944% to 49.055%. Nate has done the impossible again, he’s gotten it right. Kudos to him and his scientific methods. This highlights the issue of right-wingers’ mistrust of facts and figures in their political lives. Jesus bless their unease.



This is so sweet. I can hardly contain myself.

The entitled rich, the god-botherers who would parse the crime of rape, the snotty frat types who delighted in making fun of a candidate’s family — the biggest goats in this year’s electoral pen — they are all losing. I’ve never seen anything quite like this. It’s beyond my wildest dreams.

Wrestling maven Linda McMahon. She blew $100 million running against Chris Murphy for Senate in Connecticut, and what did she get?

Another loss. This effectively ends her career. Adios Linda. Scott Brown, Senate incumbent in Massachusetts. He ran against Elizabeth Warren on the issue of “C’mon she’s not an Indian, is she?” Look at this:

Elizabeth just won. Scalp the asshole, woman. Goodbye you racist d-head, see you in a truck commercial someday. In Missouri, abortion-obsessed Todd Akin, he of the women’s-bodies-reject-rape-sperm, went up against Claire McCaskill. And . .

Claire kicked his sorry ass. Still plenty of abortion clinics outside of Missouri you can troll, Todd, have fun. The other rape-obsessed fool, Richard Mourcock, ran against Joe Donnelly in Indiana. It was neck and neck until Mourdock stated that God wants women to have rape-babies. And then . .

10:00 p.m. ET – CBS News projects that Joe Donnelly, a Democrat, will beat Republican Richard Mourdock in the Indiana Senate race.

Mourdock, a Tea Party-backed conservative, defeated longtime moderate incumbent Dick Lugar in a surprise upset in the state’s GOP primary earlier this year, and was locked in a tight race with Donnelly in recent weeks.

Joe Donnelly won. See you Richard. God didn’t want you anywhere near the Senate, sucks to be you. Since you know so perfectly the mind of your savior, I’m surprised you didn’t quit. And in Virginia, where frequently disgraced racist George ‘Macaca’ Allen ran again for the Senate . .

Updated: 10:22 p.m. ET CBS News projects Democrat Tim Kaine will defeat Republican George Allen in the Virginia Senate race.

Kaine, the Democratic former governor, and Allen, a former senator and governor, were running neck-and-neck for months in the costly and closely-watched contest. In recent weeks, however, Kaine appeared to have eked out a slim lead.

Tim Kaine won. This ends George Allen’s career as well. Goodbye you nasty cracker. This is almost unbelievable. I’ve got to go check up on the Joe Walsh race now, that one’s got to be done. The way the other jerks are getting their clocks cleaned, he’s probably been run over by a catering truck.

ADD: The roll continues . .

CHICAGO — U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) was defeated tonight in his bid for re-election in Illinois’ 8th Congressional district seat by former Veteran’s Affairs Administration official and U.S. Army National Guard Reserve Lt. Colonel, Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat who lost both her legs during the Iraq war.

I dig Tammy. I detest Joe. I couldn’t be happier.

MEGA ADD: And for the “severe conservative” at the top of the ticket . .

CBS just called it. I might just pass out, Jiminy cripes.


Newt Gingrich tells followers “Obama is going to win”

Just days before the biggest importantest election in the history of the third rock from the sun, Definer of Civilization and Arouser of Those Who Form It Newt Gingrich shoots Mitt Romney’s campaign. No kidding. You heard me. Newt breaks the news to his e-mail slaves that Romney lost the election. There’s not thing-one anyone can do about it:

The email, titled “What’s really at stake this Tuesday …” came from Gingrich Marketplace – a newsletter coordinated by conservative news group Human Events.

“The truth is, the next election has already been decided. Obama is going to win. It’s nearly impossible to beat an incumbent president,” advertiser Porter Stansberry wrote in the email to Gingrich supporters. “What’s actually at stake right now is whether or not he will have a third-term.”

Apparently the Gingrich Marketplace missive was meant for the cutthroat titans in the second and third rings whirling around the mass of all political gravity, Newt, and not the Romneyfans in the sticks. So now the nobodies know what “Gingrich the historian applying the lessons of history to public life” has known for awhile and has been sharing with his Upper Moondog Thetans. Willard M. Romney: Dead Man Walking.

Conservative news group Human Events manages the Gingrich Marketplace emails, but Gingrich has a say over which advertisers can have their messages go out to the list . .

Human Events Vice President Joe Guerriero said the email was “a mistake.”

“It was actually scheduled to run on another of our lists,” Guerriero said.

And, no, Obama cannot legally run for a third term. Unless, once again, you-know-who already knows something we don’t.


Romney’s lying dispatches Meat Loaf from hell

Mitt Romney is a deceptive man. And he’s running an election campaign on bullshit. For his latest serving of horse’s toes, the local auto workers were surely appreciative:

DEFIANCE, Ohio — Mitt Romney attacked his opponent, President Obama, in this rural and manufacturing city, on education and trade, passing along a report that Chrysler might move all of its Jeep manufacturing to China, which the company has denied.

“I saw a story today that one of the great manufacturers in this state, Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China. I will fight for every good job in America, I’m going to fight to make sure trade is fair,” Mr. Romney said.

One thing you can count on. Rank lying, okay, two things. Chrysler employees didn’t mind it being “owned by the Italians.” If it weren’t for the swarthies, their jobs wouldn’t exist. As for Romney telling Jeep workers they’d be canned tomorrow, or the day after, Chrysler didn’t thank the Governor.

There are times when the reading of a newswire report generates storms originated by a biased or predisposed approach . .

Let’s set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China . . A careful and unbiased reading of the Bloomberg take would have saved unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments.

Accusing a Mormon elder of extravagance would normally be a proper shaming. But Mitt’s naked ambition far outweighs his conscience. Now there’s this:

“Obama took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy. And sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China. Mitt Romney will fight for every American job. I’m Mitt Romney and I approve this message.”

You can remind him he wrote the famous op-ed “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”, but his campaign now depends upon Ohio. So he’s got to be the opposite of his actual self. Therefore, he’s worried about the auto industry. He’s been sitting at home, hugging his knees and rocking back and forth. Someone has to fight for your jobs, dammit. Somebody has got to care. I’m Mitt Romney and I approve this mythology.

It’s shocking to see a grown man operating blithely as a living breathing lie. The only satisfaction you can take from this farce is the instant karma delivered Mittens via the unconscionable celebrity of Meat Loaf. The humble candidate got yearrgghhed by Mr. Loaf like he’d been possessed by demon honesty. And this season’s best campaign highlight was born:

Next up: Mitt weeps over Social Security. Let’s have Liza Minnelli.


God love you little black bigots

PIERS MORGAN: Colin Powell has decided to opt for President Obama again despite apparently still being a Republican. Is it time he left the party, do you think?

JOHN SUNUNU: . . frankly, when you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to wonder whether that’s an endorsement based on issues or whether he’s got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama.

Sununu points out that we have only Powell’s endorsement to consider, which is unfair. John thinks we might ignore his decision and turn our attention elsewhere. We might consider Colin Powell himself. I mean, who is this guy anyway? If we all had a photograph of him, or a charcoal sketch, we could “take a look at” the guy. Maybe then we would learn something.

MORGAN: What reason would that be?

SUNUNU: Well, I think that when you have somebody of your own race that you’re proud of being President of the United States — I applaud Colin for standing with him.

He’s like the President in being of a rare and different race. That’s why the General isn’t interested in foreign policy or the war in Afghanistan. He’s unconcerned with the complexities of politics and such. Can you blame him? Of course not. Like Governor Sununu, I only applaud Colin Powell for his racism. It’s okay, black people are like that.


Not winning would go badly, this is of some importance

Who figured the debate to look like a costume ball? It was Mittens going as a centrist Russell Terrier and the President covering himself in oatmeal. Pretty psychedelic. A shame it wasn’t any less boring. 90 minutes later the challenger scrambled off stage with the seat of Obama’s slacks in his jaws.

That could have gone better. Romney touted his tax plan, and Obama didn’t note it doesn’t actually exist. The plan’s debits and credits are laid out only in Mitt’s top secret imagination. No thing wholly hinging on number-crunching that involves no numbers — not a one, or a 1 — is a ‘plan.’ It’s a dream. But Obama was happy to opine it was a tax cut and golly is that wise? I don’t know, people.

Romney touted his Medicare plan. Which will expand the deficit, shrink benefits and shorten the plan’s life. The President noted that his plan was better, in his opinion, snooze. So Mittens closed the night by touting again his heroic Medicare bungle. Win! Very presidential. Oh well I’m sure people will see how silly it is.

No matter where Mitt went, Obama re-oriented himself to stand directly in front of his punching and absorb his fists. Tried to grab his knuckles and hold them to his chest. If you’re some sort of jiu jitsu master, maybe this is a peaceable way to end the chaos. But if you’re a politician, you look like you’d prefer to get off the stage. Like you suppose yourself to be better than such a spectacle.

Whether it’s for good or bad (bad), Americans want their president to be a rough and ready sort. They can’t imagine a Commander-in-Chief that doesn’t himself want to attack his enemies. It’s stupid American Pop Psychology 101. The debates are then a litmus test for a candidate’s willingness to fight — if for nothing else, at least for his beliefs. If you’re loath to make a public fuss, Mr. President, there will be time for relaxing in civilian life. But you should remember that your country will be the worse for it. Nothing of any good will come from a plucky Romney administration, you know. Try not to not-win this thing.


They say Romney is already president

Joel Pollak writing at Woah, sorry: at BREITBARTDOTCOM. *ahem* and *aherrrrm* . . YELL YELL MITT IS ABOUT TO LOSE THIS ISN’T FAIR.

Mitt Romney is about as close to defeating President Barack Obama as any Republican could have hoped to be.

But first: Ha ha. Anybody, and I mean everybody, was expected to beat the recession president. It was statistically impossible for a challenger to lose. George Will figured a Republican party that bollixed this sure thing wasn’t even a party any more. But Pollak can’t believe how lucky the wingnuts are. To be losing. Very badly. Things are going as impossibly well as can be imagined.

The polls–if you believe them–show him slightly or significantly behind, but within striking distance. The challenge he faces is unique: he is acting, and is being treated as, the incumbent rather than the insurgent. In effect, “President” Romney has been in office since mid-August, with none of the power but all of the responsibility.

This would be a new one. Or a hot one. Or say what?

It was President Romney, not Obama, who set aside time to visit victims of Hurricane Isaac.

And told a suddenly houseless woman to “go home” and phone emergency services.

It was President Romney, not Obama, who reacted swiftly to the attacks on our embassies by standing up for American freedom.

President Mitt: “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.” Thank you, Mr. Makes Things Up. A.k.a Hey People Are Dead You Asshole Do You Mind?

It was President Romney, not Obama, who took on the entitlements crisis head-on by adopting many of Paul Ryan’s ideas.

And with those magic beans did nothing, because that’s the best he can do. He is but an utterly unemployed millionaire. But let’s call him “presidential,” for fun if nothing else.

It was President Romney, not Obama, who laid out a practical plan for the housing crisis.

To wit: “The candidate, reflecting a view widely held within his party, has stood by his position that the government should stay out of the national housing mess and let the market ‘hit the bottom,’ as he said here in October. Conservative economists have argued that any meaningful intervention would delay a recovery and transfer the problem from homeowners to taxpayers and investors. Such moves, Mr. Romney said last week in Florida, would be ‘a fool’s errand.'” Therefore, Mister Practical, who really wants to do nothing and watch the world burn, acts like President of the United States. You can’t really blame Joel Pollak for this strange argument, he lives on Saturn. His president is a blargh o’ smoof, and they are an annoying and a lazy bunch.

. . Romney cannot think about the polls. He is, in every way but the oath alone, President Romney already, for better or for worse. So he has to do what an incumbent does: lead, and be strong.

Mitt Romney. Every day, he is leading and strong. Talk about weird.


The advice keeps coming

Mitt Romney. Still losing. Strange that he seems to be the only person who has no idea how to win an election. Everybody else thinks it must be easy to do.

So what I’m suggesting is that Romney puts together specific examples of lower family tax rates and higher take-home pay . . It’s really that simple. Talk up tax cuts and connect them to Main Street families in terms of the after-tax dollars and cents they understand. Higher take-home pay. More financial security. More jobs. Repeat these over and over.

Mitt should talk up his tax cuts.

. . Romney needs to move beyond the controversies of the Bush era. To do that, he has to alter his critique of Obama. What Romney should say is that our country has problems that have been building since long before Obama took office, and that what’s wrong with Obama is that he has either left them unaddressed or made them worse.

And he should be straight with people.

In the end, righting his campaign depends entirely on Romney himself. He is not a natural ideologue, nor — obviously — a natural backslapper. But he is a data-obsessed salesman. He should be pitching his program with all the zeal and airtight attention to detail of a presentation for a Bain Capital business deal.

Also, bring the zest. Business-like zest. Can do!

“Go to a location where the Keystone pipeline was to be built, and with unemployed workers as part of the event, look into the camera and say, ‘Mr. Obama, build this pipeline,’” said Republican strategist Greg Mueller said. “This hits the jobs issue and directly connects Obama to blocking jobs, preventing economic growth and holding back energy independence.”

And talk to the camera. Tell the camera about the pipeline.

“Forget the fear, forget the fundraisers, forget the polls, get out there and really run for president,” advised another GOP strategist, who didn’t want to give their name because of the sensitivity of the matter. “Get rid of all that staging. Be real. … something dramatically real.”

Then run real hard. And be really real. Crazy real.

He rode his campaign bus for more than 330 miles, but he didn’t pull over once for a single unannounced stop at a dinner or popular small-town spot.

It’s the kind of retail campaigning that produces the human interactions that feed news coverage and humanize the candidate . . “Instead of you building an event and making them come to you, every local community has a place,” said Chip Saltsman, Mike Huckabee former campaign manager. “You can go to the town square and get a cheeseburger where everyone goes to lunch.”

Also, eat a cheeseburger, somewhere.

Romney has to make an unrelenting case for his program, pitched particularly to the practical concerns of middle-class voters. He has to give the public compelling reasons to pick him in an election that will be a choice, not a referendum.

And give people a choice.

Mr. Romney’s team has concluded that debates are about creating moments and has equipped him with a series of zingers that he has memorized and has been practicing on aides since August.

Then give them a few debate zingers. Memorable ones.

His strategy includes luring the president into appearing smug or evasive about his responsibility for the economy. . . “He’s got to do a better job of making the case that President Obama’s directly responsible for that. That’s got to be his focus.”

And there’s always the economy. He should talk about that.


Fixing Mitt Romney

46 days to go before the big event. The presidential election. Coast-to-coast polling shows Mitt Romney going from slipping to sliding to circling the drain. Nate Silver’s November 6 forecast has never been worse:

It’s bad. Mitt’s now almost a 5:1 dog. This would be a good time to call in the logrollers. O Great Pundits, tell him what to do. Charles Krauthammer:

Go large. About a foreign policy in ruins. About an archaic, 20th-century welfare state model that guarantees 21st-century insolvency. And about an alternate vision of an unapologetically assertive America abroad unafraid of fundamental structural change at home.

Peggy Noonan:

. . people had real doubts about Ronald Reagan—he was too shoot-from-the-hip, he’d start World War III. These were understandable reservations! He had to prove he was a pair of safe hands.

People think Mr. Romney’s rich, doesn’t understand regular people’s lives. They’re not sure he can turn things around. He has to prove he’s a pair of safe hands.

Roger Simon:

Jokes have power. When a politician makes a joke, he can make a point and also leave people with the impression that he is a regular guy and not some cardboard cutout.

Romney needs some jokes. And he needs them for his first presidential debate on Wednesday.

And then there’s this . .

Who knows what goes into an election victory? Was it the economy? Was it the advertising? Was it personal magnetism? Was it … the fast?

If Mitt Romney wins the presidency on Nov. 6, consider the last of those. A group of his fellow Mormons is organizing a fast Sunday so “that he will be blessed in the debates” with President Obama, which begin on Wednesday. “I know that fasting and praying brings about miracles,” reads an email reportedly sent by a fast organizer.

Bad as things are, maybe Mitt should try all four. Juggle some delicious cupcakes. Tell everybody how hungry he is. Riff on the Ethiopians BIG time.


Paul Ryan’s reported pet-name for Mitt Romney is “Stench”

The campaign comedoise, she is a beetch. The — how you say, rancid clusterfuck? — it makes zee laughs. Oh ho.

Writing for Politico, Roger Simon, himself a respectable Bozo, has thoroughly beclowned the Republican ticket. According to Roger, Paul Lyin’ Ryan is running around his campaign referring to Mitt Romney as “Stench.” As in “You’re a loser, pal.” As in “Who cut the historic cheese? Oh yeah you did Willard.” As in “I am so smart, S-M-R-T . .” because nobody would likely be interested in reporting about the VP candidate of 45 days being thoroughly done with the Romney hayride.

Though Ryan had already decided to distance himself from the floundering Romney campaign, he now feels totally uninhibited. Reportedly, he has been marching around his campaign bus, saying things like, “If Stench calls, take a message” and “Tell Stench I’m having finger sandwiches with Peggy Noonan and will text him later.”

Tell Stench to clean his hair out of the sink. Tell Stench to gas up the presidency, I’m taking it out this weekend. Tell Stench I saw the dog eating his future and now the vomit’s on his side of the campaign.

If you’re interested: Stench, and his people — the We Dealt Its? The Phews? The Renuzits? — don’t seem too impressed with Li’l Paulie theirselves. They’ve got a nickname of their own.

Dan Senor, one of Romney’s closest advisers, has kept a tight grip on Ryan, traveling with him everywhere and making sure he hews to the directions of the Romney “brain trust” in Boston. (A brain trust, rumor has it, that refers to Ryan as “Gilligan.”)

In the end, it was the Republicans who reduced their Serious People campaign down to Skunk The Skipper and Gilligan. Nice going everyone, good luck getting off the island. Then somebody got on the coconut and let Roger Simon know and now everybody’s reading it this morning. That was a good idea too. How did this happen?

. . on Saturday, the day after he was booed, Ryan broke free. Appearing at a town hall meeting at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Ryan showed the glitz, the glamour, the razzle-dazzle that he was supposed to bring to the campaign in the first place.

Guests of Caesar’s Palace, a scheduling note. Substituting for tonight’s production of “Elton John’s Million Dollar Piano.” Please give a warm welcome for “Gilligan’s 50 Dollar PowerPoint Presentation.”

He did a PowerPoint presentation for the crowd. According to the National Journal, be began thusly: “ ‘I’m kind of a PowerPoint guy, so I hope you’ll bear with me,’ Ryan told the audience as he began clicking . .

Ryan’s PowerPoint slides were officially labeled: “Our Unsustainable Debt (U.S. Debt Held by Public as a Share of Economy),” “Your Share of the Debt,” “Who Funds Our Reckless Spending?” and “How the Government Spends Your Money.”

The Romney campaign was furious.

At being blown off the stage we presume.

But Ryan reportedly said, “Let Ryan be Ryan and let the Stench be the Stench.”

Because things used to be so totally different but no not ever again.


Republican foreign policy analysts reject Mitt Romney’s attacks over ambassador’s death

I’m no fan of Buzzfeed’s writing. Or much of anything else they do. But if they’re accurately reporting Republican reaction to Mitt Romney’s criticism of Obama after the death of our Libyan ambassador, Mitt better do something. He might shamble his way back to a microphone pretty quick.

Mitt Romney’s sharply-worded attack on President Obama over a pair of deadly riots in Muslim countries last night has backfired badly among foreign policy hands of both parties, who cast it as hasty and off-key, released before the facts were clear at what has become a moment of tragedy.

This was Romney last night: “I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi,” he said. “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 keyed his statement to the American Embassy in Cairo’s condemnation of an anti-Muslim video that served as the trigger for the latest in a series of regional riots over obscure perceived slights to the faith. But his statement — initially embargoed to avoid release on September 11, then released yesterday evening anyway — came just before news that the American Ambassador to Libya had been killed and broke with a tradition of unity around national tragedies, and of avoiding hasty statements on foreign policy. . .

“They were just trying to score a cheap news cycle hit based on the embassy statement and now it’s just completely blown up,” said a very senior Republican foreign policy hand, who called the statement an “utter disaster” and a “Lehman moment” — a parallel to the moment when John McCain, amid the 2008 financial crisis, failed to come across as a steady leader.

That one’s anonymous. But maybe you’d like a name. How about Bill Kristol?

“I guess we see now that it is because they’re incompetent at talking effectively about foreign policy,” said the Republican. “This is just unbelievable — when they decide to play on it they completely bungle it.”

More and more:

“It’s deeply unfortunate when the circumstance of the statement becomes the story,” said Rick Perry’s former foreign policy adviser, Victoria Coates, who is now an adjunct fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and who suggested that Romney should simply have “gone earlier rather than save it for midnight” to avoid appearing to play politics on September 11. “It’s unfortunate that it’s playing out this way, and hopefully they can get back on message, because their point is sound,” she said.

Other conservatives were less sympathetic.

“It’s bad,” said a former aide to Senator John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. “Just on a factual level that the statement was not a response but preceding, or one could make the case precipitating. And just calling it a ‘disgrace’ doesn’t really cut it. Not ready for prime time.”

A third Republican, a former Bush State Department official, told BuzzFeed, “It wasn’t presidential of Romney to go political immediately — a tragedy of this magnitude should be something the nation collectively grieves before politics enters the conversation.”

The third Republican did support Romney’s essential message after disparaging the timing and politics of it. Romney however isn’t interested in whatever these foreign policy experts have to say. He’s lagging in his campaign for the presidency with only eight weeks to go. So this morning he doubled up on the attack:

“I also believe the administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt instead of condemning their actions,” Romney said, echoing a provocative statement the campaign released late Tuesday night. “It’s never too early for the United States government to condemn attacks on Americans and to defend our values.”

Before violence broke out, the Egyptian consulate commented on the growing controversy by denouncing anti-Muslim rhetoric [see here]. After the deaths, the consulate re-posted the comment, but the administration disavowed it. Instead, both the President and the Secretary of State issued statements strongly denouncing the killing. Romney knows this but chooses to ignore it. Because he’s desperate. What a sad campaign.

Incidentally, did you see Vladimir Putin yesterday thank Mitt Romney for calling Russia “our number one geopolitical foe”? He said Mittens made Russia’s case for opposing the missile defense shield. Well played, foreign policy expert.


Libyan ambassador killed in violent protests; Romney calls Obama administration response “disgraceful”

An internet film made by an Israeli American real estate developer from California and promoted by Koran-burning pastor Terry Jones of Florida has sparked violent protests in Egypt and Libya. An attack on the Libyan embassy in Benghazi yesterday killed the US ambassador and three others.

Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens was killed Tuesday night when he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate to try to evacuate staff. The protesters, angry over a film that ridiculed Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, were firing gunshots and rocket propelled grenades. All of the officials — three in all — hold senior security positions in Benghazi.

The President condemned the violence.

“I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens,” President Obama said in a statement Tuesday morning. “Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.”

In Egypt, protestors climbed the embassy walls in Cairo and tore down the American flag. It was replaced with one exalting Muhammad. Mitt Romney seized upon the mayhem and death to criticize the Obama administration.

“I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi,” he said. “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 was referring to the Egyptian consulate’s response to the growing controversy before the violence broke out. They “condemn[ed] the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” GOP chairman Reince Priebus similarly attacked the president, albeit personally. Priebus charged that Obama “symapathize[d]” with the Egyptian rioters.

The Obama campaign shot back, calling the Republican criticism ugly politics:

“We are shocked that, at a time when the United States of America is confronting the tragic death of one of our diplomatic officers in Libya, Governor Romney would choose to launch a political attack,” Obama’s campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt said in a statement.

The “movie” that started this mess is essentially anti-Muslim trash. It’s a low-budget green-screen affair that portrays Muhammad as an idiot and his followers as homicidal child-molesting pagans.

The movie, “Innocence of Muslims,” was directed and produced by an Israeli-American real-estate developer who characterized it as a political effort to call attention to the hypocrisies of Islam.

At least some of the movie, when it’s not calling Muslims gay donkeys, is sympathetic to Egyptian Coptics. After clips of it were dubbed into Arabic and redistributed online, the protests began.