Texas Gov. Rick Perry is mincing no words in his evaluation of the way President Obama is dealing with the death of the top U.S. diplomat in Libya.
Ambassador Chris Stevens and three American security guards were killed Tuesday in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi by protesters angry about a film that they feel ridicules Islam's Prophet Muhammad.
"President Obama said he 'rejects' these brutal acts, and condemns them in 'the strongest terms' — yet still acknowledges our attackers' supposed justification," Perry said in a written statement released by his Austin office. "This kind of language broadcasts an impotent foreign policy that fostered this crisis in the first place."
Perry scored the president for what he called a "shameful lack of leadership" in Egypt, where the U.S. flag was burned in another protest on Tuesday.
"It is no wonder our enemies in the region are emboldened and our allies are afraid," Perry said.
The governor extended his sympathies to the families of the slain Americans.
"We must now act decisively to secure our surviving people in the region, prevent further senseless bloodshed and defend American interests abroad," Perry added.
His comments echo the view of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who said the Obama administration's early response to the attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions was "disgraceful."