Gingrich Clarifies His Libya Shifts, Blames Obama

Admits 'contradictions,' but pins them on the president
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2011 4:45 PM CDT
Newt Gingrich Admits 'Contradictions' on His Libya Statements but Blames Obama
In this March 3, 2011 photo, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at a news conference in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, File)

Newt Gingrich today admitted "contradictions" in his own Libya statements, but says he was merely reacting to President Obama's policy shifts. The rundown, as first noted in Think Progress:

  • March 7: "Exercise a no-fly zone this evening," said Gingrich. "We don't need to have the United Nations." Same day, different interview: "This is a moment to get rid of him," he said of Gadhafi. "Do it. Get it over with.”
  • March 20: (After the no-fly zone is in effect): "It is impossible to make sense of the standard for intervention in Libya except opportunism and news media publicity." He called it “opportunistic amateurism without planning or professionalism."
  • March 23: "I would not have intervened."

Gingrich, first in a Facebook post, and today in a speech, rejected flip-flopping charges, reports ABC News: “The fact is that on each day I was on television I was responding to where the president was that day. And so obviously there were contradictions," he said. "I was trying to follow Obama.” He added: “If you had asked, ‘Should we jump in the lake?’ I would have said, ‘No.’ Once we jumped in the lake I said, ‘Swim as fast as you can.’” For other views, click here. (More Newt Gingrich stories.)

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