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Barbour criticizes Obama administration on Libya

From NBC's Catherine Chomiak
Mississippi governor and potential Republican presidential candidate Haley Barbour weighed in several times this week not only on President Obama’s handling of the situation in Libya, but also what Barbour said was the Obama administration’s overall lack of leadership over the last two years.

On Tuesday, while in Nevada to meet with Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) and other Republican lawmakers, Barbour was at first measured in his criticism. "When our men and women are involved in military action I think we need to be very careful about critiquing the administration,” he said.

But he went on to say that “the administration dithered a long time before making a decision” and that the U.S. should not take orders from the UN, NATO or wait for permission from the Arab League.

“When it is in our interests and the needs of the United States require us to take military action, sure we should consult our allies, but we should not wait for them to tell us what to do,” he added.

In radio interview in his home state yesterday, Barbour went further and criticized the administration on leadership. “Since World War II, the world has looked to America for leadership,” Barbour said, “But we haven’t provided leadership in this administration.  In fact, the Obama administration’s position has been to say, you know, we’re just one of the boys, so we’re not going to try to be the leader.”

Barbour also questioned the end goal of the operations, warning that the U.S. should be “careful…about getting into nation-building exercises.”

On a lighter note, as Barbour walked out of the building the Tuesday press conference was held in he quipped to the cameramen shooting him, “Make me look thin!”  The recently trimmer Barbour has previously joked that his weight could be an indication he might be running for president.  The Hill reported, back in June of 2010, Barbour saying, “If you see me losing 40 pounds that means I’m either running or have cancer.” In March, USA TODAY quotes Barbour as saying, “I hope I can lose some more.”