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Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who has twice served as a U.S. ambassador, expressed condolences on the killing of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens. Huntsman, who did not know Stevens personally, issued a statement lauding Stevens for "representing the highest ideals of American diplomacy.

"This is a time when we all should reflect on those who continue to give, even the last measure, of service and sacrifice, to promoting and defending America's interests abroad," Huntsman added. "This is above all a reminder that politics should end at the waters edge."

Huntsman's last sentence appears to be directed at Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the only top Republican who has condemned President Barack Obama's administration for what Romney said was apologizing for America in the government's initial response.

Critics, including some former Republican State Department officials, have slammed Romney for politicizing the tragedy.

— Thomas Burr