Raging Mideast Protests Spark Foreign Policy Spat

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At least seven countries are warning of possible protests at U.S. embassies after the deadly riots in Libya that U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other embassy officials.

The violence is said to have stemmed from an anti-Islam film posted on Youtube, purported to have been produced by an American.

But a senior security official in Libya says the violence may have been timed to mark the 9/11 anniversary. It's also believed the militants used civilians protesting the anti-Muslim film as their cover.

Click play to watch Heather Sells' report followed by comments from Conn Carroll, senior editorial writer at the Washington Examiner.

The Libyan attack has led to anti-American turmoil and more violence. Yemen protestors stormed the U.S. Embassy compound and in Egypt, for the second day in a row, protestors are clashing with security forces outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

"It appears to have a deeply cynical purpose to denigrate a great religion and provoke rage," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said of the film.

Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi condemned the movie, but also said the film cannot be used as a justification for attacking embassies.

Meanwhile, the presidential candidates are shifting their focus to foreign policy in the wake of the crisis.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney suggested the president was weak because he didn't react quickly enough to condemn the attacks on U.S. missions overseas.

"The administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt, instead of condemning their actions," Romney said Wednesday.

But the statement Romney referred to was a press release from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, which condemned anti-Islam sentiment, not the attackers.

The Obama administration also noted that the press release went out before the violence began.

"Gov. Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later," Obama said in response. "And as president, one of the things I've learned is you can't do that."

With the situation in the Middle East continuing to unfold, the campaign barbs may be tempered. The Obama campaign said it has no plans to air ads on the attacks and national security.

Thursday, Romney seemed to be toning down his criticism of President Obama's handling of the embassy ordeal, switching back to the economy at a campaign stop.

Current polls show Obama has an advantage on international affairs.

A recent Associated Press-GfK poll found that 50 percent of potential voters believe Obama would be a better leader in crisis. Forty-one percent favored Romney.

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Heather Sells

Heather Sells

CBN News Reporter

Heather Sells covers a variety of issues for CBN News ranging from immigration and religious liberty to human trafficking, privacy issues and food.

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