During a CBS interview last night President Obama distanced himself from the “apology” issued by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, suggesting that it was merely an effort by the staff to “cool the situation down.”

“It didn’t come from me. It didn’t come from Secretary Clinton,” Obama said. “It came from folks on the ground who are potentially in danger. And my tendency is to cut those folks a little bit of slack when they’re in that circumstance rather than try to question their judgment from the comfort of a campaign office.”

“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 embassy said in a statement in reaction to the attack.

Mitt Romney criticized the statement, suggesting that the Obama administration’s first reaction overseas was to “apologize” for America.