Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) wasted no time blasting President Barack Obama in the wake of attacks on U.S. compounds in Egypt and Libya on Tuesday, suggesting that he lacked the "big stick" needed to be strong on foreign policy.
"America can’t afford any more 'leading from behind' in such a dangerous world," Palin wrote in a Facebook post. "We already know that President Obama likes to 'speak softly' to our enemies. If he doesn’t have a 'big stick' to carry, maybe it’s time for him to grow one."
The recent clashes in Egypt and Libya provided new fodder for conservatives to target the president on foreign policy as the nation remembered the 11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. On Tuesday, protesters outraged over an anti-Islam film stormed the U.S. embassy in Cairo, tearing down an American flag and replacing it with a pro-Islam banner. The violence was worse in Benghazi, Libya, where an attack on a U.S. consulate left Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other staffers dead.
From her social media perch, Palin continued her assault on Obama, accusing him of failing with his strategy in North Africa and suggesting that he was more concerned about "softball interviews," fundraising and golfing than he was about international leadership.
"These countries represent his much touted 'Arab Spring.' How’s that Arab Spring working out for us now? Have we received an apology yet from our 'friends' in the Muslim Brotherhood for the assault on our embassy?" she wrote. "It’s about time our president stood up for America and condemned these Islamic extremists."
Palin also criticized the "outrageous" tone of the U.S. embassy in Egypt's initial response to the assault on the building, a statement not authorized by the Obama administration, which later condemned the attacks in a statement of its own from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign issued a statement echoing Palin's tone Tuesday night, though theirs sought to more directly attribute the embassy's statement to the White House.
"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," the statement read.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus framed this attempted attack more bluntly, tweeting: "Obama sympathizes with attackers in Egypt. Sad and pathetic."
The White House had disavowed the statement by the embassy, which eventually reworded its dispatch. The Obama campaign responded to Romney, saying it was "shocked" that he would "choose to launch a political attack" at such a time.
Palin's whole Facebook post:
Apparently President Obama can’t see Egypt and Libya from his house. On the anniversary of the worst terrorist attacks ever perpetrated on America, our embassy in Cairo and our consulate in Benghazi were attacked by violent Islamic mobs. In Cairo, they scaled the walls of our embassy, destroyed our flag, and replaced it with a black Islamic banner. In Benghazi, the armed gunmen set fire to our consulate and killed an American staff member. The Islamic radicals claim that these attacks are in protest to some film criticizing Islam. In response to this, the U.S. embassy in Cairo issued a statement that was so outrageous many of us thought it must be a satire. The embassy actually apologized to the violent mob attacking us, and it even went so far as to chastise those who use free speech to “hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” (Funny, the current administration has no problem hurting the “religious feelings” of Catholics.)
But where is the president’s statement about this? These countries represent his much touted “Arab Spring.” How’s that Arab Spring working out for us now? Have we received an apology yet from our “friends” in the Muslim Brotherhood for the assault on our embassy?
It’s about time our president stood up for America and condemned these Islamic extremists. I realize there must be a lot on his mind these days – what with our economy’s abysmal jobless numbers and Moody’s new warning about yet another downgrade to our nation’s credit rating due to the current administration’s failure to come up with a credible deficit reduction plan. And, of course, he has a busy schedule – with all those rounds of golf, softball interviews with the “Pimp with the Limp,” and fundraising dinners with his corporate cronies. But our nation’s security should be of utmost importance to our Commander-in-chief. America can’t afford any more “leading from behind” in such a dangerous world. We already know that President Obama likes to “speak softly” to our enemies. If he doesn’t have a “big stick” to carry, maybe it’s time for him to grow one.
- Sarah Palin