Sarah Palin compared President Obama to former President Teddy Roosevelt and found him wanting this week, urging Obama to get a “big stick” for foreign policy use in a way Roosevelt likely never intended.
“We already know that President Obama likes to ‘speak softly’ to our enemies,” she wrote on her Facebook page on Tuesday evening. “If he doesn’t have a ‘big stick’ to carry, maybe it’s time for him to grow one.”
The former GOP vice presidential candidate and conservative activist was responding to the violence in Egypt and Libya on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In Cairo, protesters stormed the U.S. embassy, burned the American flag and replaced it with an Islamic banner. In Benghazi, a separate group set fire to the U.S. consulate. The protests were sparked by an anti-Islam film posted to YouTube.
Reports after Palin made her remarks confirmed that four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed in the Libya consulate attack.
“Apparently President Obama can’t see Egypt and Libya from his house,” Palin wrote, in a self-deprecating reference to a criticized moment in her own past, when in 2008 she said she could see Russia from her home state of Alaska.
She went on to blast Obama for failing to respond to the protests, and mocked him for being too busy with other things – including golf and “softball interviews” – to address how “his much touted ‘Arab Spring’ ” is “working out for us” in the Middle East.
Palin’s post questioned Obama’s leadership as commander in chief. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney issued a similar statement Tuesday night, in which he questioned the Obama administration’s response “to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.” The U.S. embassy in Cairo on Tuesday, acknowledging tensions over the anti-Islam video linked to Florida pastor Terry Jones, had put out a statement objecting to the film as an abuse of free speech.
“It’s about time our president stood up for America and condemned these Islamic extremists,” Palin wrote.
On Wednesday, after the administration confirmed the deaths in Benghazi, Obama released a statement strongly condemning the “outrageous attack” as well as increasing security at diplomatic posts around the world.
“While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants,” Obama said in the statement.
As for Palin’s attack, Vice President Biden already reassured the country that Obama carries a “big stick,” quoting Roosevelt in a speech last April.
“I promise you, the president has a big stick,” Biden said.
Read more at THE HILL.