PUBLISHED:08:55 EST, 24  September 2012| UPDATED:09:59 EST, 24 September 2012

President Barack Obama referred to recent  events in the Middle East, including violent attacks on embassies and the  terrorist murder of a US ambassador and three other Americans, as ‘bumps in the  road’.

The comment came in Obama’s CBS ’60 Minutes’  interview that aired on Sunday night.

Steve Kroft, the interviewer, asked: ‘Have  the events that took place in the Middle East, the recent events in the Middle  East given you any pause about your support for the governments that have come  to power following the Arab Spring?

Obama responded: ‘Well, I’d said even at the  time that this is going to be a rocky path. The question presumes that somehow  we could have stopped this wave of change.

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Bumps in the road: The President said the killing of  ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Libya was some of the  ‘bumps in the road’ along the ‘rocky path’ to Middle Eastern peace

asdasdfTerror attack: It took the White House some days to  admit the sacking of the consulate in Benghazi was pre-planned

Ambassador Chris Stevens died of apparent  asphyxiation at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi after an attack launched under  the cover of a demonstration against a crude, low-budget anti-Islam movie mad  ein California.

Sean Smith, another diplomat, and former U.S.  Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were also killed.

Republicans leapt on Obama’s ‘bumps in the  road’ comment. Ari Fleischer, former press secretary to President George W. Bush  said on Twitter: ‘I guess when u win a Nobel Peace Prize for doing nothing “an  attack that kills an Ambassador is just a ‘bump in the road.’

asdasfasdfCriticism: Obama faced anger from those who saw his  ‘bumps in the road’ comment as too dismissive

The Obama administration initially insisted  the attack was a spontaneous result of anger about the movie and had nothing to  do with al-Qaeda or U.S. policy in the region.

After the head of the U.S. National  Counterterrorism Centre told Congress the attack was terrorism, Obama’s  spokesman Jay Carney then stated: ‘It is, I think, self-evident that what  happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.

‘Our embassy was attacked violently and the  result was four deaths of American officials.’

On the same day as the five-hour Benghazi  consulate attack, in which RPGs and mortars were used, the U.S. embassy in Cairo  was targeted by a mob that tore down the American flag and replaced it with a  black Islamic flag.

There were also attacks on U.S. missions in  Tunis, Sana’a, Khartoum and Islamabad.

Stevens, the first U.S. ambassador to be  murdered since 1979, was a fluent Arabic and French speaker widely viewed as one  of the greatest American diplomatic assets in the region.

A diary written by Stevens and obtained by  CNN after being found in the wreckage of the Benghazi consulate revealed that he  had been concerned about security threats in the city and a rise in Islamic  extremism.

A White House official firmly rejecetd this,  telling ABC News: ‘It’s just not true that he was characterising the attack in  Benghazi – the question doesn’t even make mention of it. He’s speaking about  broad trends.’

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