Graham: Time to ‘get rid’ of Gadhafi
March 20th, 2011
10:28 AM ET
4 years ago

Graham: Time to ‘get rid’ of Gadhafi

Washington (CNN) – Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina on Sunday condemned President Obama’s leadership over the situation in Libya, calling on the United States to “get rid of” Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

“We used to relish leading the free world, now it’s almost like leading the free world is an inconvenience,” Graham said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I think the president has caveated this way too much, it’s almost like it’s a nuisance.”

Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said this is the “best chance to get rid of Gadhafi in my life.”

“If we don’t get rid of him, we will pay a heavy price down the road,” Graham added.

American, French and British military forces launched an operation on Gadhafi's military Saturday, convinced the Libyan leader was not adhering to the U.N.-mandated cease-fire. The attacks on Libyan military positions with missiles and airstrikes are part of an operation that will include enforcement of a no-fly zone.

According to senior administration officials, Obama is planning for the U.S. portion of the military action in the African country to last for a few days.

Graham’s message to the president: “Get rid of this man. Don’t be uncertain in your statements. Be bold, be effective, work with the international community. Replace this international outlaw sooner rather than later.”

Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, who appeared with Graham on the program, said the president’s leadership has “created the conditions for an international coalition.”

“We’re shaping the battlefield right now,” Reed said Sunday. “Initially we have that capacity, but we’ll be able to hand it off very quickly to the French, to Arab forces… That, I think, will send a strong signal to the Arab world that this is not about American interests, it’s about democracy in Libya.”


Filed under: Jack Reed • Libya • Lindsey Graham
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Michigan Don

    Like most GOP'ers this dip-stick is all for war so long as others do the bleeding and the dying. What we need is a division called "1st Republican" made up entirely by the clos relatives of Republican and these would be the ones to alwaays go in first. Maybe when te body bags fill with what were the sons and daughters of warmongering Republicans roll in these chicken-hawk GOP'ers would be less war like.

    March 20, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  2. Dean

    It is also time for Graham to go. I am a conservative Republican who thinks that Graham is an idiot and is no good for this country.

    March 20, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. Indy

    Republicans would rather go to war alone and slam the President then create ONE SINGLE JOB. Smokescreen alert !!

    March 20, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  4. w l jones

    Thank God we have people like the president,Mr. Mullen Chairman of joint chief of staff who have level head figure out when to move and when not to get involve in situation around the world. As I said once before our General sleep very little at night figuring how to keep us safe this is one case in point. Said enough.

    March 20, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. JAMES C FAWCETT

    Right. Just rush in like Bush and to take out Saddam. You see all the good that did. Go retire to SC with your former live-in boyfriend and sit in the sun at Myrtle Beach and fry your brain some more.

    March 20, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  6. Peter E

    Where, oh, where were all these hardliner republicans when President Bush lifted sanctions on Libya in 2004 and normalized relations with them? Oh right, they were applauding the decision and kissing up to the last administration.
    But if Obama waits a week or two to condem Gadhafi in order to get Americans to safety first, that's a crime...

    March 20, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  7. Limbaugh is a liberal

    President after president didn't get rid of Gadhafi, despite us knowing his terrorism ties and his tyrannical rule. George W. Bush even restored trade with him. Even the 'holiest of holies' Reagan didn't get rid of him when he had the chance.
    But of course, I guess, only democratic presidents can be blamed for starting wars, and getting involved in civil wars where neither side likes us (unless, of course, we DO get involved, in which case THAT was a terrible decision, and the democratic president should still be blamed)
    (see how our involvement in civil wars turned out at: Vietnam where the south-vietnameese vietcong were fighting along the northern vietnameese to get rid of us, see our entire occupation of Iraq and the subsequent 'sectarian violence' as we tried to term it to hide the fact that we sparked a bloody civil war, etc.)

    March 20, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. Dale

    The GOP never saw a war they didn't like, and in their minds the USA has never been on the wrong side of a fight.

    March 20, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  9. Bill

    I used to think that Lindsay Graham was an OK guy, despite being a Repuglicant. But now he's just part of the same criticize-the-President-at-every-turn crowd that's pandering to the Tea Party and other right-wingnuts.

    Obama/Biden 2012.

    March 20, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  10. Indiana Voter

    What a double standard coming from Liberals these days. If it a Democrat sends our troops to war, it is okay. If it is a Republican, he a warmonger. I love seeing you Democrats spin this to support your weak liberal President. I am surprised he had the guts to do anything at all. He has been too busy golfing and partying. I hope the mission is successful and he has the guts to stick it out if the going gets tough.

    March 20, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  11. once upon a horse

    why don't you go follow McCain to the gates of hell to find Bin Laden like he said he would do there Graham. Your party is so much into warmongering and putting our troops in harms way that it's pathetic.

    March 20, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. Chris

    This is why China will never become a legitimate super power. If they are aren't willing to use their iron fist to maintain the balance of power in the world like the US has done for almost one century, they will never be a legitimate military superpower. China is too caught up in trying to make business deals with every rogue nation, I can't wait until some nut case comes and blows up Shanghai's sky scrappers. Then they will be crying to the US like little babies to intervene. If China wanted to show their military might, they would intervene in Libya to build a reputation. The only thing China is good for is stealing other country's technologies, making business deals with rogue nations, and taking a back seat when they have the opportunity to show their power. In other words, they hide behind their fingers.

    March 20, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. GI Joe

    We're running out of oil. But the oil is located in other countres all ALL THE DIPSTICKS ARE IN WASHINGTON D.C.

    How does this guy get elected over and over and over? Is everyone in SC brain-dead?

    March 20, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  14. J. Olver

    The Republicans have control of the House and therefore the purse strings. They should be concentrating on the economy, but that's hard. Sitting back and lambasting the President is easy. Both parties are guilty of being more concerned with getting reelected than with fixing the country. The only guy who is doing anything reasonable is the President. He seems to be kthe only adult in the room.

    March 20, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. MARKPAIN

    We should not be involved in another country`s civil war when that war is half way around the world. Both the voters and the ones we elect to office should think about the consequences of our actions when getting involved in Libya to oust a "3rd or 4th rate" countries leader. Who armed the rebels, what happens after Gadhafi is gone, how much will this war effort cost, what country is next, who will seek alliances to counter NATO or UN lies to cover the real reason to invade? (Libya supplies much oil to France & other European countries)

    March 20, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  16. jeb

    "caveated"?? last time I checked, caveat was a noun. More redneck English.

    March 20, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  17. terry, va

    The strategy that Obummie has implemented was to hide under his desk for a month. And then only come out from under it when weak kneed governments like France said they would do a no fly zone. Image the French !!! That only shows you how weak Obummie is. Obummie is now saying we will protect the people by firing missiles. What about removing Kaddafi? Obummie is a joke as commander in chief. No one can be as stupid as he is in foreign affairs. He has to be purposefully trying to make this GREAT nation look like chumps.

    March 20, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  18. vikingslost

    We need to think as President Obama has done with Libya because of the two wars we are in from Bush. We needed more of the coalition of countries to carry the burden of removing Gadhafi from power. Gadhafi's slaughter of his own people would not stand in the eyes of the world.

    Thank you United Nations and countries that voted in the affirmative for the "no fly" zone in Libya.

    Graham and McCain should not be acting as traitors, when our fighting men and women need America's total support anytime we are in conflict.

    March 20, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  19. Rick McDaniel

    This should have been the responsibility of the Arab League, and their military. They call on western countries to do their dirty work, and then they sit back and criticize what they asked for.

    Let's put the ball back in their court, and tell them to act for themselves.

    March 20, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  20. Indy

    Terry in VA
    I am not sure what country you live in, but it is all obvious you have great hate for the USA and the President of the United States who's name is spelled Obama.

    March 20, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. edp

    No money for healthcare, no mony for social srvices but we can afford a war – someone's civil war. Why do we have to act like a world police? Can we let the people fight for their freedom?

    March 20, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  22. Jim S

    Graham, McCain, Palin, etc always want to go in with guns blazing and sort out the consequences later. Obama managed to get a REAL coalition of both U.N. & Arab support. Saudi warplanes are enforcing the no-fly zone. During the Iraq invasion, even with their close ties to the Bush family, they made no attempt to stop their radical fighters from crossing the border to kill Americans. Don't you think that at some point they would learn from history?

    March 20, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. pat carr

    what is it about republicans lust for war? is it an erotic thing? they hate any programs for this country, but always WAR WAR WAR. What hypocrites and hateful people. Next election, let's get "rid of them" for good at the ballot

    March 20, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  24. Jeffrey

    Yeah, right. The US should determine every countries government, leaders & regime. If we don't like it...get rid of it. If we can condone our own actions like that, then what legitimate criticism can we have of another country or political organization deciding to attack us because, oh say, we've ruined the world economy with our pandering to Wall Street, big corporations, insurance companies and the richest of the rich? Would that indeed make us leaders of a "free world"? Graham is a flatulant airbag who's a major part of the problems mentioned. Most of the rest of the world wanted us to get rid of our own "international outlaw", George W, too. Thankfully, at least Obama has worked to heal relations with countries that Bush had alienated. This ain't 1945 anymore, Lindsey.

    March 20, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  25. rs

    How Republicans love the wars they don't pay for. Have they already forgotten the other two? $ trillions for war, and not a dollar for Social Security- That's the Republican way!

    March 20, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
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