Mitt Romney’s “apology tour” claim during Monday night’s debate was a source of contention between the two candidates, as President Obama immediately dismissed the claim that he projected weakness by going on an apology tour after he was elected president in 2008.
Romney used the phrase while responding to a question about Iran’s nuclear program, saying that Iran’s leaders first detected weakness in the Obama administration when the president stated in 2008 that he would be willing to meet with the leaders of Cuba, Venezuela, and Iran in his first year as president, reports The Los Angeles Times. Romney stated:
“I think they looked and thought, well, that’s an unusual honor to receive from the president of the United States. And then the president began what I’ve called an apology tour of going to nations in the Middle East and criticizing America. I think they looked and saw weakness.”
The president immediately responded by saying:
“Nothing Gov. Romney just said is true, starting with this notion of me apologizing. This has been probably the biggest whopper that’s been told during the course of this campaign.”
CNN fact checkers looked in to the President Obama “apology tour” claim and stated that, during the president’s first term, he traveled to the Middle East and made a series of speeches that were designed to forge better ties with Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America.
Obama did mention past US flaws in these speeches, but he never uttered an apology for the United States. In April 2009, Obama did say that “there have teen times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.”
However, he went on to call out Europeans for an “anti-Americanism that is at one casual but can also be insidious. Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what’s bad.”
CNN added that, while the president mentioned previous mistakes that the US has made during speeches about building bridges to other countries, he has never apologized for the US or gone on an “apology tour.” Therefore, their fact checkers labeled the claim false.
Do you think that President Obama went on an “apology tour” during his first year in office, or did he instead simply attempt to rebuild bridges with allies?