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
In this March 3, 2011 photo, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at a news conference in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, File)

(Newser) – 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.

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