In his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney said:
“I will begin my presidency with a jobs tour. President Obama began with an apology tour. America, he said, had dictated to other nations. No Mr. President, America has freed other nations from dictators.”
The Obama campaign and notoriously liberal “fact-check” websites such as factcheck.org, Politifact, and the Washington Post‘s “Fact Checker” said President Obama never went on an “apology tour” and has never apologized for American actions.
However, in the first few months of the president’s term, Obama repeatedly did speak of America’s past mistakes in a series of appearances, several of which fell in foreign countries. It was also revealed in a top secret cable published in 2011 by Wikileaks that the Japanese government vetoed the idea of President Obama visiting Hiroshima in September 2009 and apologizing for the atomic bomb.
Here are five examples of Obama apologizing for America, first collected in 2009 by “Hannity,” which occurred in quick succession during Obama’s April 2009 tour of foreign countries and in two speeches in the United States shortly thereafter.
1. April 3, 2009: Strasbourg, France
“In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.”
2. April 6, 2009: Ankara, Turkey to the Turkish Parliament
“Another issue that confronts all democracies as they move to the future is how we deal with the past. The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in our history.”
3. April 17, 2009, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, at the Summit of the Americas
“While the United States has done much to promote peace and prosperity in the hemisphere, we have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms.”
4. April 20, 2009: CIA headquarters, Langley, Va.
“Don’t be discouraged that we have to acknowledge potentially we’ve made some mistakes. That’s how we learn.”
5. May 21, 2009: National Archives in Washington D.C.
“Unfortunately, faced with an uncertain threat, our government made a series of hasty decisions. … I also believe that all too often our government made decisions based on fear rather than foresight; that all too often our government trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions. Instead of strategically applying our power and our principles, too often we set those principles aside as luxuries that we could no longer afford. And during this season of fear, too many of us — Democrats and Republicans, politicians, journalists, and citizens — fell silent. In other words, we went off course.”