(GOLDEN, Colo.) — As his campaign rival accuses him of “apologizing” for America, President Obama today sought to project an unabashed commitment to the nation’s values, telling supporters in Colorado that he is resolved to defend them in the face of terrorism and violence.
“I want people around the world to hear me, to all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished. It will not dim the light of the values that we proudly present to the rest of the world,” Obama said. “No act of violence shakes the resolve of the United States of America.”
The president said his administration is determined to bring to justice the killers of four Americans at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and would continue to speak out for democracy and human rights.
“That’s what binds us together. That’s what our flag means,” Obama said. “We also believe that these are not just American rights. We believe these are universal aspirations.”
He added that the county’s primary task is “to defend and protect and advance our people, but also to defend and protect and advance those values at home and around the world.
“That’s what our troops do. That’s what our diplomats do. That’s what our intelligence officers do. That’s what our citizens do. That’s what we believe. Those are the values that we hold to,” he said.
In keeping with a slightly more subdued tone that he set Wednesday night at a campaign rally in Las Vegas, President Obama did not mention rival Mitt Romney once by name.
Meanwhile back in Washington, a portrait of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, draped with a black ribbon, and a condolence book was displayed today outside of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee room. Stevens worked briefly on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as a Pearson Fellow State Department detailee from 2006-2007.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., today invited Senators and staff to sign the book or write a brief note to Stevens’ family. The portrait and book will be displayed until next Thursday. The condolence book will be given to the Stevens family.
“We hope you will join us in honoring this extraordinary American diplomat,” Chairman Kerry and Ranking Minority Member Richard Lugar, R-Ind., said in an email to members today.
On Wednesday night the Senate passed a resolution by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Richard Lugar, R-Ind., Chairman and Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Committee, commending the four Americans who died in Libya.
The resolution also condemned the “despicable” and violent attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi and calls for “the perpetrators of such attacks to be brought to justice.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Debra Goldschmidt, CNN
Madeline Holcombe, CNN
Dylan Byers, CNN
Steve Almasy, Ralph Ellis and Nick Valencia, CNN