And he argued that todays technology makes obsolete the notion that free speech can be contained.
Yet he said there was no video that justifies an attack on an Embassy and argued that the violence wont. There is no slander that provides an excuse for people to burn a restaurant in Lebanon, or destroy a school in Tunis, or cause death and destruction in Pakistan."
He pressed his fellow world leaders to speak out forcefully against violence and extremism. It is time to marginalize those who even when not resorting to violence use hatred of America, or the West, or Israel as a central principle of politics. For that only gives cover, and sometimes makes excuses, for those who resort to violence.
Obamas speech comes as his Republican challenger has seized on the unrest in the Middle East to step up attacks on Obamas foreign policy, accusing him of making the world less safe and on this trip, of putting politics ahead of diplomacy.
Obama didnt meet with a single world leader during his brief trip but did make time to tape an appearance on ABC-TVs The View. Romneys campaign sent reporters a roundup of newspaper headlines that noted the lack of meetings, along with his TV appearance, where he delivered a birthday basket to co-host Barbara Walters and joked about celebrating his upcoming 20th wedding anniversary.
Speaking across town at former President Bill Clintons Global Initiative, Romney was to pledge to make U.S. aid more effective.
Obama was to address Clintons forum later today. He was returning to Washington by mid-afternoon and planned to be back out on the campaign trail Wednesday, stumping in Ohio where Romney has been campaigning.
At his address, Romney was to propose linking foreign assistance with trade policy, saying the current aid system is unrealistic and stifles private enterprise.
He said U.S. assistance is not responsive to the demands of the modern, global economy and reflects an outdated way of thinking about the world."
The initiative is the latest Romney effort to propose a more muscular foreign policy while emphasizing economic programs at the same time. Romneys fellow Republicans ripped into Obamas record, seeing opportunity to raise questions about Obamas handling of foreign policy which has been a positive for the president who frequently boasts of the death of Osama bin Laden, as well as the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Republicans continued to criticize Obama for saying in a 60 Minutes interview that the attacks in Libya reflect bumps in the road in the Middle East, with Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus saying they underscore serious national security crises that reflect his weak leadership.
The committee released a web video accusing the administration of a "crisis of leadership."
Republicans seized on the turmoil in the Middle East to paint Obama as detached from world events, saying the White House offered inconsistent information" about the attacks in Libya that killed four Americans and "offered no defense" for security levels at its embassies and consulates.
"President Obama promised that he would restore America's moral standing in the world. Yet, for the last four years, instead of standing up for America's interests and values, this president has led from behind," RNC Chairman Priebus said.