Top GOP senator criticizes Obama on Egypt
January 31st, 2011
05:57 PM ET
12 years ago

Top GOP senator criticizes Obama on Egypt

Washington (CNN) - A top Senate Republican leader accused the Obama administration Monday of failing to promote democracy around the world with the same vigor of President George W. Bush, possibly leaving Egyptian protestors wondering if the U.S. really stands with them.

"We might be in a better position if we had more closely followed President Bush's prescription for support of greater democracy in all parts of the world," Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, said as he stepped off the Senate floor Monday. "If we had maintained that position and had that reputation in the world….then our calls today for restraint would have more credibility because the people of Egypt would know our heart was with their desire for greater representation."

Kyl's criticism came after days of mostly bipartisan agreement on the United States government's response to the unfolding events in Egypt.

"Having failed to create that reputation over time, I think the forces who are protesting in Egypt are less enamored with our calls for restraint and perhaps are interpreting that as support for an (Mubarak) administration which I really don't think the administration is trying to portray," Kyl said.

Kyl acknowledged the events create "a very difficult problem for us to deal with as it unfolds in real time. I don't have any argument with at least what we know publicly have been the administrations actions and statements to date."

Kyl, the second ranking Republican in the Senate, was asked if his comments violate a tradition of politics ending at the water's edge.

"There's not politics in this," he responded. "It doesn't matter one wit that I'm a Republican. I'm giving you my views of what's appropriate under the circumstances and up to now, by and large, I'm supportive of what the administration's been doing. I'm not looking at it as a Republicans. I'm looking at it as an American."

Filed under: Egypt • Jon Kyl • President Obama
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. gary

    Whatever happened to the idea that we don't criticize the president's foreign policy during a time of an international crisis? This is a very significant international event and politicians like Kyl ought to key his mouth shut. This is not the time to play partisan politics.

    Bush was hardly an advocate of democracy unless it fit his neocon regime's agenda. He invaded another country, the taxpayers paid billions of dollars, and we've lost thousands of brave American men and women. All to bring democracy to the people. And Obama is supposed to follow in this idiot's path??? The U.S. needs to stay out of this except to continue to provide support to the people of Egypt.

    January 31, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  2. tel

    Kyle's big mouth hit the press again. He is my senator and he is the biggest 'WINDBAG' in the Senate. If the president sneezed he would say 'he should have sneezed another way. Has anyone heard anything positive for the USA come out of Kyle's mouth?? We elecTed this 'windbag to help govern, but we are still waiting for clueless Kyle of Arizona to govern. LOSER.!!!

    January 31, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  3. Ron

    Yeah We should have bombed the heck outta them just like bush!

    January 31, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  4. A keen observer

    John Kyl is just another demagoging republican fool. Bush stood solidly behind Mubarak and did not advocate democracy for Egypt. Kyl did not oppose Mubarak's dictatorship either. Kyl, quit criticizing the President and get to work creating jobs like you promised.

    January 31, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  5. Willbene

    What else should the American people expect from the GOP? There is no way that the GOP would ever support this president onAnything!!!!

    January 31, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  6. whatever

    can you say ARMCHAIR QUARTERBACK? you have one republican saying one thing, you have another repuke saying the complete opposite and you have the third saying no matter what you can't withold any finance from Egypt (while a 4th says that we should). obviously, the go against whatever obama does memo seems to be getting misunderstood by the GOP's clown posse.

    January 31, 2011 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  7. goo6er

    What a moronic thing to say. The only way George Bush knew to instill democracy was to invade a country and force it down their throats at the cost of thousands of American lives.

    January 31, 2011 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  8. James

    So. . . WTF is this senator suggesting? We send our troops?

    Last time we sent troops to the middle east to "promote democracy", we found ourselves in more than 10 trillion dollars in debt. The locals hated us, and our democracy, and our economy was ruined.

    You know, I love how these republican senators speak with such big talk, but they never put their words into action, or never really define what they mean. Tossing off one liners like, "Obama sucks because he doesn't support Egyptian democracy" is easy to do, and you will have millions of idiots that agree with you. Define what you mean by "he doesn't support Egyptian democracy", and we find ourselves at a loss of words, don't we?

    January 31, 2011 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  9. Get a Clue

    Apparently this guys been in the Arizona heat for too many years. Support Bush's vigor for democracy?!? Yeah that worked great for us in Palestine when Hamas took over or in Lebanon when Hezbollah gained the ability to dissolve that government. Let's cheer for democracy in Egypt so the Islamic Brotherhood can gain some political power. Get a clue!!

    January 31, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  10. Clwyd

    So not starting more wars to promote democracy like bush has done! Stupid republicans!

    January 31, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  11. w l jones

    Where were all those Republican when we had similar problem in this country not to long ago. If my history is correct it were Democratic who solve our so let those who have experience in that area do it in a way save face.

    January 31, 2011 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
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