Romney's Libya comments criticizing Obama hurt his popularity, poll finds


US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks to the press in Costa Mesa, California, on September 17, 2012.



It's been a rough week for the Romney campaign.

It began with the Republican presidential candidate's ill-timed comments following protests in Cairo and an attack on a US consulate that killed four Americans in Libya, criticizing the president's administration for a statement it did not, technically, issue.

Most recently, the campaign has stumbled after the explosive release of secret videos showing Romney "not elegantly" dismissing the political importance of nearly half of the American populace.

More from GlobalPost: Secret Video: What does Mitt Romney really think of Obama voters? (UPDATED)

Now, a poll confirms what we already suspected: these verbal missteps are costing Romney among potential voters.

A Tuesday Reuters/Ipsos online poll of 792 registered voters found that 40 percent of those surveyed felt "less favorably" toward the Republican presidential hopeful after he criticized President Barack Obama's handling of the attacks in Libya. That compared with 26 percent of those surveyed who felt worse about Obama after hearing his comments about the violence, Reuters said.

"Romney probably did not do anything to shore up his foreign policy cred on this particular issue," Reuters quoted Ipsos pollster Julia Clark as saying.

On Sept. 11, Romney criticized the Obama administration for its response to protests that culminated in the death of the US ambassador to Libya and three others. But the comments in question were in fact issued by the US Embassy in Cairo in response to protests there, in advance of the violent attacks in Libya. The administration's actual response to the Libya attacks, released the following morning, strongly condemned the violence.

Tuesday's poll also found that more voters surveyed has a positive response to Obama than to Romney. Some 37 percent of voters "felt more favorable toward Obama after hearing about his remarks," Reuters said, while only 29 percent felt favorably toward Romney following his comments.

Romney has also been the subject of ridicule and criticism on social media for his comments at a fundraiser revealed in secretly-recorded video, published this week by Mother Jones. Watch an excerpt here, and see below for a compilation of tweets calling for a #RomneyEncore:

[View the story "#RomneyEncore: Twitter reacts to Romney comments" on Storify]