PORTLAND — Maine’s three leading U.S. Senate candidates said Thursday they supported President Barack Obama’s measured statements and security response to the attack on American officials in Libya this week.

All three — a Democrat, a Republican and an independent — said it’s important to let details of the situation unfold before talking about specific U.S. responses to the attack.

Two of the three sharply rebuked Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for his criticism of the president’s response before the extent of the attack was clear.

Republican Charlie Summers declined to second-guess his party’s presidential nominee for speaking out too soon. “I’m not running for president,” Summers said. “That’s up to Mitt Romney.”

Summers and his rivals said Obama correctly promised a strong response and took needed security steps.

“I was very pleased to see President Obama send 50 Marines to bolster security forces” at the embassy in Libya, said Summers, who is a commander in the Navy Reserve. He said the U.S. must act but it needs to have more facts. “What I would like to see is the next two or three days unfold.”

Former Gov. Angus King, an independent, said there are too many questions about what happened and who was behind the attack to issue blame or focus a strong national response. It’s important that the president take strong action but not overreact, he said.

“There are times you want a president who is cool under pressure, and this is one of those times,” King said.

King, who has endorsed Obama, said Romney reacted prematurely. “It wasn’t very mpressive, in my view, in terms of what you want in a commander-in-chief.”

Democrat Cynthia Dill praised the president’s response of boosting security and waiting for the facts to emerge. “We need to understand more,” she said.

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