From the Wall Street Journal:
The Obama Presidential campaign jumped on the remarks Wednesday as inappropriate, yet a “senior Administration official” had told the website Politico later on Tuesday night that “The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government.” So the White House can walk away from its own diplomats, but Mr. Romney can’t criticize them?
Whatever the timing of the Cairo Embassy’s statements, Mr. Romney is right that a U.S. Embassy ought to ignore YouTube videos produced by obscure cranks. As Tuesday’s events showed, pandering to Islamists who would use the video to inflame anti-American sentiment isn’t going to stop the protests. The video “Innocence of Muslims” is inflammatory and its producer is a fool, but in the U.S. we don’t censor fools.
The broader point is that the attacks on the embassies do raise questions about how America has fared in the world in the last four years. (See above.) Throughout his candidacy, Mr. Romney has supported the necessity of America’s global leadership, sometimes against the wishes of Republican voters. His comments this week are consistent with that worldview, which is also consistent with that of every recent conservative President.