In a debate in Orlando on Sept. 22, 2011, Mitt Romney charged that President Obama has gone around the world apologizing for America.
President Obama "went around the world and apologized for America," Romney said, in response to a question about Israel and the Middle East.
John Murphy, a communications professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, studies presidential rhetoric and political language. He said Obama is using conciliatory language for diplomatic purposes, not apologizing.
Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, a professor who studies international human rights, maintains the Web site Political Apologies and Reparations, a database of documents on apologies. Many of the apologies in the database relate to genocide or slavery.
"To say the United States will not torture is not an apology, it is a statement of intent," Howard-Hassman said. "A complete apology has to acknowledge something was wrong, accept responsibility, express sorrow or regret and promise not to repeat it."