GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4)- President Barack Obama told a large crowd in Golden on Thursday that no act of terror will go unpunished.
He discussed the attack in Libya during a campaign stop in Jefferson County.
“Let me say at the outset that obviously our hearts are heavy this week,” said Obama.
Obama addressed the topic up front and vowed justice, “I want people around the world to hear me: To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished.”
Foreign policy has not been a central issue in the campaign that has mostly focused on the economy.
The attacks in Libya and other countries, along with continued unrest, have changed that.
Both campaigns have accused the other of politicizing the attacks.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney accused the president of not doing more to stop the extremists.
The president fired back that Romney shoots first and aims later.
The partisan sniping was absent from his speech in Golden but the president did say the attacks did not shake the U.S. resolve to promote democracy.
“And our task, as the most powerful nation on Earth, 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,” said Obama.
The Romney campaign has responded to the president’s address at its own rally nearby.
Josh Romney, one of five of Romney’s sons, made the cast that his father is the leader the country needs in times of crisis, “There are people all around the world who depend on a strong America. That’s why my dad has to be the next president.”
Former Republican congressman Bob Beauprez criticized the president for campaigning as the violence spreads.
“Now hearing about Yemen, Tunisia and who knows, Baghdad, apparently in turmoil. What we’ve got is a legitimate reason to ask the question, ‘Is this leadership off the mark?’” said Beauprez.
The president insists he is well aware of the instability, “I’ve directed my administration to do whatever is necessary to protect all Americans who are serving abroad.”
Romney is expected to begin receiving regular intelligence briefings from the Obama Administration in the coming days.