Yesterday the Obama made a pointed critique of Mitt Romney suggesting that he was unprepared to handle foreign policy because he "shoots first, aims later." This Foreign Policy report of the President trying to walk back his strong statement on Egypt yesterday ought to give pause to anyone who took that critique seriously:
President Barack Obama didn't intend to signal any change in the U.S.-Egypt relationship last night when he said Egypt is not an "ally," the White House told The Cable today.
In an interview with Telemundo Wednesday night, Obama said that the U.S. relationship with the new Egyptian government was a "work in progress," and emphasized that the United States is counting on the government of Egypt to better protect the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, which was attacked by protesters on Sept. 11.
"I don't think that we would consider them an ally, but we don't consider them an enemy," Obama said. "They're a new government that is trying to find its way. They were democratically elected. I think that we are going to have to see how they respond to this incident."
One wonders whether his admittedly careless statement yesterday further ratcheted up tensions in Egypt while the situation in the region was still unfolding.