President Obama on Thursday countered criticism that his administration has not stood up for American values, laying out for a Colorado crowd an explanation of the values that guide his foreign policy.
The United States isn’t like other nations, Obama said.
“We're not made up of a single tribe or a single religion or a single race. We're a collection of people from all around the world who came here because of a certain set of principles, the idea that all men and women are created equal. That we are all endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights,” Obama told supporters in Golden, Colo. “That's what binds us together. That's what our flag means.”
“But we also believe that these are not just American rights,” the president added. “We believe these are universal aspirations,” held by people from “tiny villages in Libya” and “prosperous cities in Europe” alike. Part of the United States’ job as the most powerful nation in the world is to protect and advance those values abroad, he said.
On Wednesday, Republican Mitt Romney criticized the Obama administration's handling of the attack on the Libyan consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans died. "Apology for American values is never the right course," Romney said.