From NBC's Catherine Chomiak
As multiple news outlets report that he’s flip-flopped on Libya, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich took to the airwaves Thursday to express his reservations about the U.S. involvement in the region.
During a radio interview with WHO-AM Radio in Iowa, Gingrich said, “It’s very dangerous for the United States to get involved in open ended commitments.” He added that while he favors freedom for the Libyan people, he believes there are other ways of achieving it. “I think we would have been much better off to have Egyptian and Jordanian and Iraqi and other local forces who speak Arabic doing most of the work and keep us out of this thing,” he said. “We don’t need to keep adding more places for the U.S. to send troops or for the U.S. to be engaged in combat.”
During the interview, he also called President Barack Obama the nation’s “spectator in chief.” He’s called the president this before, including at an event in New Hampshire on St. Patrick’s Day.
Gingrich has been under recent fire for his seemingly fluid statements on the North African nation’s no-fly zone. Here’s First Read’s earlier reporting on the story:
“In the past two days, Newt Gingrich has been clear that he thinks the Libya no-fly zone was a mistake. Yet, on March 7 he seemed to express support for a no-fly zone in Libya. The New York Times’ Shear: ‘President Obama should establish a no-fly zone over Libya ‘this evening,’ [Gingrich] said on Fox News. “All we have to do is suppress his air force, which we could do in minutes,” he said. Yet on TODAY yesterday, Gingrich said, ‘I would not have intervened. I think there were a lot of other ways to affect Qaddafi. I think there are a lot of other allies in the region we could have worked with. I would not have used American and European forces.’ That won this headline from the Times: ‘Gingrich Calls for No-Fly Zone, Then Attacks It.’ The Seattle Post-Intelligencer: ‘Gingrich: Flip-Flop on No Fly.’ Then, he attempted to deflect in a ‘clarification’ on his Facebook page with a post titled, ‘My Position on Libya.’ His opening doesn’t address his own apparent inconsistency, but the president’s: ‘It is deeply troubling that there is so much confusion, lack of foresight, and little resolve coming from the President and his administration about what our mission and goals must be in the Libya engagement.’”