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.”