Latino legislators are responding to the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Libya, which resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens as well as three of his staffers.
Florida Republican senator Marco Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as well as the Select Committee on Intelligence, released a statement saying the broader publics of Libya and Egypt should “condemn the violence and distance themselves from the unruly and intolerant elements of their society,” Rubio said. Senator Rubio had urged more involvement in Libya as the rebels fought to unseat Muammar Qhadafi.
Rubio also stated he had a chance to meet Ambassador Stevens when he visited Libya. “He was an exemplary diplomat and his embassy staff could not have been more helpful and knowledgeable during my visit.”
New Jersey Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also recalled one of his latest interactions with the late Ambassador, in his statement: “At his March confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ambassador Stevens’ excitement about his new post was palpable, as was his commitment to helping the Libyan people embrace a new political destiny,” said Senator Menendez. ” Having served in Tripoli in 2007 under Qaddafi’s rule and then as the Special Envoy to the Transitional National Council, there was no one more qualified to guide the U.S.-Libyan bilateral relationship into the future,” he added.
California Democratic congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, said “this act of terror is particularly heartbreaking given the United States’ commitment and hard work to help liberate the people of Libya.” Congresswoman Sanchez also said the attacks reverse the progress Libya has made toward a more open society.
NBC News is reporting that U.S. officials are not ruling out the possibility that al-Qaeda-inspired Islamist militants were responsible for the attack.
Today there was political fallout as Republican candidate Mitt Romney criticized the Administration’s initial response to the attacks. In turn, the Obama administration criticized the Romney campaign, saying there were politicizing the attacks and the death of an ambassador.