The Obama admin disputes a statement on Middle East protests; Romney down 6; and other top Wednesday stories
Diplomats killed: President Obama confirmed this morning that Ambassador Chris Stevens was among four Americans killed in an attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. The Americans were killed in a riot sparked by outrage over an anti-Muslim film apparently produced in the U.S. Riots also broke out at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, where protesters scaled the walls and replaced the American flag with an Islamist one. The filmmaker has gone into hiding.
Statement disavowed: The Obama administration disavowed a statement issued by the embassy in Cairo before the demonstrations had turned violent, which seemed to apologize for the anti-Muslim film. “The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions,” the statement published online read. “The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government,” an administration official told Politico. The embassy also deleted tweets expressing similar concern about the film.
Undocumented immigrants legalized: The first round of young undocumented immigrants applying for legal status under President Obama’s new deportation policy have been approved. Three months after Obama announced the program and one month after the department began accepting applications, more than 72,000 young immigrants who meet certain requirements have made requests. The federal government wouldn’t say how many requests have been approved thus far, just that the process of examining and finalizing the applications has begun.
Obama bounced: A new Gallup poll out yesterday afternoon shows President Obama beating Mitt Romney by 6 points, one of the widest margins yet in the otherwise tight presidential race, and finds that the Democrat got a 3 point bounce from his nominating convention, while Romney got no bounce at all. The poll confirms what many pundits have been seeing — Obama is pulling away from Romney in a meaningful way for the first time. While Obama has been slightly ahead of Romney for months, it was too close to be definitive until now. Of course, with just under two months to go, plenty could change.
Fundraising is king: The New York Times’ Nick Confessore and Ashley Parker report that because of the demise of public financing, Romney and Obama will spend a good chunk of the next two months fundraising instead of meeting with voters. “Say goodbye to the traditional fall fund-raising slowdown, when big-dollar bundlers could go back to their day jobs, major donors could put away their wallets and candidates could focus on shaking hands and kissing babies on the campaign trail. For the first time since the inception of public financing, each party’s candidate is declining the money for the general election,” they write. Indeed, Romney has barely been campaigning, between fundraisers and debate preperation.