Earlier this afternoon, we posted on the different tones on the Egyptian revolution sounded by potential Republican candidates for president and U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, now the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Shannon McCaffrey of the Associated Press’ Atlanta bureau followed former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich on his second foray into Iowa this year, where Gingrich continued his criticism:
FRUITLAND, Iowa — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Saturday blasted the Obama administration’s handling of the political upheaval in Egypt as “clumsy” and “amateurish.
In an interview on Saturday, Gingrich said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s decision to step down amid mass protests was “good for the future.”
But the potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate said the Democratic administration has been sending confusing signals that could damage U.S. credibility.
“You couldn’t tell from day to day what the policy was,” Gingrich said.
He warned that by publicly supporting the ouster of Mubarak, a longtime U.S. ally, when political winds turned against his iron-fisted rule, the White House may have sent a message that discourages other leaders in unfriendly parts of the world from cooperating with American interests.
“There are a lot of things that you say in private that you don’t say in public,” Gingrich said.
The author and former Georgia congressman, who was House speaker from 1995 to 1999, made the remarks on a swing Saturday through the snowy farmland of eastern Iowa where he was gauging support for a possible White House run.
Most Republicans angling to take Obama’s job avoided any mention of the unfolding events in Egypt in speeches before conservative activists in Washington.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider