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Critics slam Romney reaction to Egypt and Libya as overtly political

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Pundits, politicos and Republican Party stalwarts alike have panned a mid-morning press conference by Republican presidential candidate former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA). Romney’s campaign drew fire overnight for falsely attributing a quote by Egyptian embassy personnel under siege to the Obama administration, then attacking the presidency for “apologizing for our values,” thereby seizing upon the violence in Egypt and Libya to score political points against President Barack Obama.

Rather than use today’s press conference as an opportunity to clear the air and mourn the deaths of U.S. citizens who gave their lives in service to their country, however, the former governor doubled down on his attacks against the president, a maneuver that was criticized even on the right.

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Former foreign policy adviser to Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), Victoria Coates told BuzzFeed, “It’s deeply unfortunate when the circumstance of the statement becomes the story.”

Members of the press were struck by the move, as well. Time magazine’s Mark Halperin said on Twitter that Romney’s attacks were the most “craven + ill-advised move” of the 2012 campaign.

Wall Street Journal columnist and doyenne of DC politics Peggy Noonan opined to Fox News that the nominee isn’t “doing himself any favors” with his handling of the situation.

“When you step forward in the midst of a political environment and start giving statements on something dramatic and violent that has happened, you’re always leaving yourself open to accusations that you are trying to exploit things politically,” she said.

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Associated Press photographer Charles Dharapak tweeted a photo that quickly became the subject of the Internet meme “Smirking Mitt,” with retweeted commentary like, “People at Ambassador Stevens’ funeral are going to see this photo.”

At the Maddowblog, Steve Benen wrote, “It’s a familiar pattern: Romney says something classless and untrue; he gets called out for his mendacity; then he repeats the falsehood under the cynical assumption that voters are easily fooled and there will be no consequences. This time, however, the GOP candidate is trying the strategy while trying to exploit deadly violence against Americans abroad.”

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“Questions about whether Romney is fit for the nation’s highest office will only get louder in light of this debacle.”

Watch video of Romney’s press conference, embedded via MSNBC, below:

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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2012

Here are 7 wild, bizarre and pathetic moments from Trump’s ‘campaign launch’

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On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally that was billed as the official launch his re-election campaign — though he has never really stopped holding campaign rallies.

As expected, the president ranted, lied, and engaged in the raucous attacks that are central to his connection with Republican voters. Some of it was actually just sad, such as his continued obsession with Hillary Clinton.

Here are seven of the wildest, disturbing and pathetic moments from the rally:

1. He said Democrats "want to destroy our country as we know it."

Trump casually accuses Democrats of "want[ing] to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it." pic.twitter.com/4K79KlbEeR

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2012

British PM candidates clash over Brexit as Boris Johnson skips debate

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Candidates to become Britain's next prime minister clashed over Brexit strategy at their first debate on Sunday but the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, dodged the confrontation.

The 90-minute debate on Channel 4 featured the five remaining candidates and an empty podium for Johnson, the gaffe-prone former foreign secretary and former mayor of London.

In sometimes ill-tempered exchanges, four of the five candidates said they would seek to renegotiate the draft Brexit divorce deal agreed with Brussels even though EU leaders have repeatedly ruled this out.

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2012

Michael Cohen ordered back to Congress on March 6

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President Donald Trump's so-called "fixer" is being asked to return to Congress for more questioning on March 6.

Outside of the closed-door committee hearing Thursday, Cohen said that the House Intelligence Committee is seeking further information, according to Washington Examiner writer Byron York.

Michael Cohen finished closed-door testimony before House Intel Committee, says he's coming back for another session March 6. Again: No reason for secrecy. Transcripts should be released ASAP.

— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 28, 2019

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