ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Republican candidate Mitt Romney says the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya is an issue in the presidential campaign in part because Americans wonder why it took the Obama administration so long to acknowledge it was a terrorist act.

Campaigning Thursday in Asheville, N.C., Romney said at a rally that the U.S. was, in his words, "attacked successfully" in the Libyan city of Benghazi. Four Americans were killed, including the U.S. ambassador.

The campaign of President Barack Obama has accused Romney of politicizing the attack. Obama spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter told CNN that "the entire reason" the attack in Libya is a political topic is because of Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan.

Romney is accusing Obama of downplaying the seriousness of the attack on the U.S. Consulate.