Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty
, who has launched an exploratory committee for a 2012 presidential run, says President Barack Obama has been “belated and timid” in his stance on Libya and is now “entrapped by the subordination of American interests and power to the Arab League and the United Nations.”
“One of the things I said on March 7 . . . is that we should have established the no-fly zone — I supported it,” Pawlenty said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I believe the humanitarian mission, and the avoidance of slaughter in Libya, was important.
“But keep in mind back then the rebels had substantial momentum — in my view they had [Moammar] Gadhafi on the ropes — he was talking openly, according to news reports, about leaving voluntarily,” Pawlenty said. “And I think the threat of, or the implementation of, the no-fly zone back then would have given the rebels a quick and easy — or relatively easier — window of opportunity to get rid of Gadhafi.
“Now we’re in this position of having the president of the United States saying ‘Gadhafi must go,’ but we are not going to necessarily make him go,” he continued. “And that’s untenable.”