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It has been my belief for the past two years that most prominent Republicans simply assume the opposite position of President Obama. This was clearly displayed during the health care debate. The individual mandate that so many Republicans claim is unconstitutional was once something Republicans really liked. But last week, Newt Gingrich took the flip-flopping to a whole new level.
Earlier this month, the former Speaker of the House attacked Obama for not intervening in Libya. Gingrich was on Fox News on March 7th with Greta Van Susteren. Van Susteren asked Gingrich what he would do about the Libya situation. “Exercise a no-fly zone this evening. … It’s also an ideological problem. The United States doesn’t need anybody’s permission. We don’t need to have NATO, who frankly, won’t bring much to the fight. We don’t need to have the United Nations,” Gingrich responded. “All we have to say is that we think that slaughtering your own citizens is unacceptable and that we’re intervening. And we don’t have to send troops. All we have to do is suppress his air force, which we could do in minutes.”
During appearances that same day, Gingrich also said that he would provide help to the Libyan rebels on top of the no-fly zone: “This is a moment to get rid of him. Do it. Get it over with.”
Inexplicably, Gingrich switched positions less than 24 hours after Obama initiated a no-fly zone. He told Politico, very shortly after Obama announced the plan, that “it is impossible to make sense of the standard for intervention in Libya except opportunism and news media publicity.”
On March 23rd, Gingrich went on the Today Show to further his new position. “I would not have intervened. I think there were a lot of other ways to affect Qaddafi. I think there are a lot of other allies in the region we could have worked with. I would not have used American and European forces,” Gingrich announced on the show. And of course, typical of the media, Gingrich’s abrupt switch of positions went unchecked by host Matt Lauer.
Gingrich halfheartedly attempted to explain his changing positions on his Facebook page but it really didn’t work. This flip-flopping is especially troublesome for Newt. In 2004, Newt repeatedly criticized then Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, saying his flip-flop on Iraq war funding disqualified him from being president. So, I guess Newt’s flip flopping disqualifies him? We could only hope. This is just the tip of the ever changing positions of Newt. There are plenty more.