Regarding the Egyptian-Libyan unrest, Romney appears to have jumped out front on his own, sensing that the statement from the Cairo embassy bolstered his dubious claim that Obama "apologizes for America," a central point in Romney's neocon-oriented book, No Apology.
But the emerging problem for Romney is that he has now developed a reputation for making any wild allegation that he thinks might rile up his conservative "base" or score some points against President Obama, no matter how reckless the words might be.
Romney's behavior, particularly since his poll numbers have begun sinking over the past two weeks, is leading to a dangerous new narrative for him, that he is not simply an accomplished liar but that he may be mentally unstable, incapable of differentiating between fact and fiction.
New York Times columnist Gail Collins touched on this emerging theme in her Thursday column, entitled "Mitt's Major Meltdown," in which she says Romney "could do anything he wanted during this campaign as long as he sent out signals that once he got in the White House he was not likely to be truly crazy. ...
"It didn't seem to be a lot to ask, but when the crisis in the Middle East flared up, Romney turned out to have no restraining inner core. All the uneasy feelings you got when he went to London and dissed the Olympic organizers can now come into full bloom. Feel free to worry about anything. That he'd declare war on Malta. Lock himself in a nuclear missile silo and refuse to come out until there's a tax cut. Hand the country over to space aliens.
"Here is the Republican candidate for president of the United States on Wednesday, explaining why he broke into a moment of rising international tension and denounced the White House as 'disgraceful' for a mild statement made by the American Embassy in Cairo about the importance of respecting other people's religions:
""They clearly -- they clearly sent mixed messages to the world. And -- and the statement came from the administration -- and the embassy is the administration -- the statement that came from the administration was a -- was a statement which is akin to apology and I think was a -- a -- a severe miscalculation.'"
If running a national campaign -- with all its challenges and frustrations -- is a test for how someone might serve in the pressure-cooker job as President of the United States, Mitt Romney may be in the process of demonstrating that he is unfit for the post that he seeks.