Obama: Gadhafi 'has lost the legitimacy to lead'
March 3rd, 2011
01:41 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama: Gadhafi 'has lost the legitimacy to lead'

Washington (CNN) –– President Barack Obama said Thursday that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi "has lost the legitimacy to lead and ... must leave."

We are "sending a clear message: the violence must stop," Obama said.

"The aspirations of the Libyan people ... must be met."

Later in the joint press conference with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Obama said that the United States is examining a "full range of options" in the Libyan crisis.

I don't "want us to be hamstrung," Obama told reporters. There is a danger of a "bloody stalemate" in Libya, he said, so he wants to be sure America "has the capacity to act quickly in event of humanitarian crisis."

"Col. Gadhafi needs to step down from power and leave," Obama said.

"It's the right thing to do."

The president also warned that advisers to Gadhafi need to understand that they will be held accountable for any violence they perpetrate against civilians.

"They should know history is moving against Col. Gadhafi," Obama said.

Obama said he has two basic principles in terms of dealing with the broader unreast in the Middle East: do no violence to citizens and stand for freedom and democracy.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Palin Power

    We need President Palin for she will put Gadafi in his place. President Palin will spread democracy and freedom across the entire middle east and install new secular democratic governments run entirely by women who will no longer don the hijab and chador.

    March 3, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  2. Gaylon Barrow

    Obama have you asked your leadwer if this is the right thing to say:
    Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan said Jews and Zionists are "trying to push the US into war" and are a cover for Satan, at the group's annual meeting near Chicago on Tuesday.
    “President Obama," Farrakhan said, "if you allow the Zionists to push you, to mount a military offensive against Gaddafi and you go in and kill him and his sons as you did with Saddam Hussein and his sons, I’m warning you this is a Libyan problem, let the Libyans solve their problem among themselves.” Farrakhan called Muammar Gaddafi "my brother" and "my friend."
    He also accused American Zionists of attempting to push Israel into war with Iran, adding that "Zionists dominate the government of the United States of America and her banking system."

    March 3, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  3. beevee

    I think that the president is doing an admirable job in handling the Lybian situation. Calculated and firm statements. These are delicate international issues and one cannot behave like a monkey that stepped on hot charcoal.

    March 3, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  4. Ed

    our own leaders, and ourselves, have lost legitimacy by bending over for dictators like this because of oil – there is not a single leader anywhere on this planet

    March 3, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. Inmyopinion

    I remember when President Clinton bombed Libya several times in the 90's and it didn't scare Gadhafi back then so what makes us think Gadhafi is listening to President Obama or anyone else in the world and is scared now??? Don't think he scare easily, don't think he is going away.

    March 3, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  6. Marie MD

    Gadafi is nuts! It's hard to tslk to someone like that! This is going to be much harder than Egypt.

    March 3, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. S. In California

    A president who thinks BEFORE speaking, WEIGHS all the facts and LISTENS to the PEOPLE. How refreshing.

    March 3, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. B

    So has Republican leader Boehner –

    March 3, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  9. Four and The Door

    Uh oh! Matt Damon and his buddy out-of-touch Hollywood liberals won't like this tough talk out of the White House. Why can't we just be more friendly with everyone? So what if Ghadafi used his military airpower to bomb his own people? They made him angry. Can't we all just get along?

    March 3, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. Shawn in MD

    Georgie W could learn a few things from our great President.
    W's legacy: The Bush tax cuts for the rich and failed attempt to spread democracy in the Middle east.
    BO's legacy: Obamacare (benefiting the middle class and the poor) and taking the right foriegn policy decisions to ensure the spread of democracy in the Middle east

    March 3, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  11. anonymious

    Just the first steps if a New World Order. Wow both Obama and the Mexican president at least commited on the NFL. I'm surprised they didn't ask President Obama about Charlie Sheen but then again Alex Jones could get mixed in with the circus again. That's the last person our government wants anybody to listen to because they can't control what comes out his mouth unlike everybody on CNN, HLN, FOX, MSNBC etc...

    March 3, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. seebofubar

    Really? When did you figure that out? You can remove the second word of the headline and still have a true statement.

    March 3, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  13. The reality is...

    After refusing to enforce DOMA, so has Obama.

    March 3, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  14. Darth Vadik, CA

    Oh Jesus, Gadhafi, another old Reagan relic left over to excite the drooling old GOP members...and I feel like I keep living in a perpetual 1980's GOP VHS tape where the "Soviets are about to be destroyed by Reagan, and the free world is about to score a victory" (none of which actually happened, but we humor the GOP)

    I have an idea, why don't we take Gadhafi and the two old GOP croonies like McCain and his twin brother Liberman and set up a pay-per-view cage match, that way everyone is happy.

    March 3, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  15. Gary N

    So how long did it take the President to recognize the obvious?

    March 3, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  16. valwayne

    I dont' understand Obama's foreign policy at all? I think he gets up in the morning carries his magic 8 ball to the breakfast table, and asks it what he should do on foreign policy issues while he eats breakfast and then his foreign politicy is set for the day? Why has Gadafi who who gave up his weapons of mass production program lost his legitimacy and Obama is sending the military off his coast, while Obama deosn't want to meddle with Iran and Ajmedinejad who is rushing to get nuclear weapons and funding terrorists all over the world, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan where they kill American soldiers. If we are sending an aircraft carrier wouldn't it be better to place it off the coast of Iran?

    March 3, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  17. Kevin

    The headline is funny............it is the same exact thing Gadhafi said to Obama

    March 3, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |