Around 11 a.m.: Protests begin outside the embassy in Cairo.
12:45 p.m.: Protesters breach the embassy.
Sometime that afternoon: Romney sees the embassy statement and gets upset. "When aides showed it to him, they said he reacted strongly to the notion of 'hurt' religious feelings," The New York Times' Peter Baker and Ashley Parker report. "Already on the defensive for not mentioning Afghanistan in his convention speech and losing some ground in recent polls, Mr. Romney saw an opportunity to draw a stark contrast." The New Republic's Noam Scheiber spoke to a former aide to Romney on his 2008 campaign -- who isn't working on this campaign and has no inside knowledge -- and the aide said Romney was "primed" to attack after Democrats said he was weak on foreign policy at their convention last week. "They set him up Thursday night at the convention with the smack down on foreign policy," the former adviser told Scheiber. "They called him naïve, Palin-esque. Then he got his back up about it and was waiting for opportunity to show, 'I'm strong, too.'"
6:30 p.m.: According to Rogin, Schwartz tweets that the embassy still stands by the statement.
7:45 p.m.: The State Department says a Foreign Service worker has been killed in Benghazi, CNN reports.
About 8 p.m.: Romney's aides recommend he make a statement, The Washington Post reports. Aides are unanimous: "We were all in agreement that it was appropriate for the governor to say something, and we were all in agreement in terms of what he should say," a Romney official told the Post. They know a State Department employee had died in Libya, but not that it was the ambassador.
On a four-hour flight from Reno to Jacksonville, Florida, Romney's aides work on the statement, The New York Times reports. Staffers working on it include policy director Lanhee Chen, ; foreign policy adviser Richard Williamson, and campaign strategist Stuart Stevens.
Romney personally reads the statement and approves it. It says:
"It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks."
10:10 p.m.: Romney's campaign emails a statement to reporters embargoed until midnight because of the political attack truce during the 9/11 anniversary.
10:25 p.m.: Romney's campaign emails reporters saying the embargo is lifted.
September 12, 12:09 a.m.: Obama's campaign emails reporters attacking Romney for politicizing an international tragedy.
6:18 a.m.: Ambassador Christopher Stevens is reported to be among the dead.
7:22 a.m.: The White House issues a statement saying Stevens and three other embassy staffers were killed.
Around 9:30 a.m.: Romney's campaign starts pulling down festive decorations for a campaign event in Jacksonville, Florida. Aides "removed the signs and erected a blue curtain that covered the patriotic bunting," The Washington Post's Philip Rucker reports. "Four American flags were posted behind the wooden lectern where Romney would speak. Aides escorted supporters outside to wait on the sidewalk…"