On March 7 Newt Gingrich insisted on airstrikes in Libya. Sixteen days later, the Republican presidential candidate says he would have never intervened. Think Progress' George Zornick caught the conflicting TV interviews. In his earlier statement, Gingrich says he would "Exercise a no-fly zone this evening, communicate to the Libyan military that Gadhafi was gone and that the sooner they switch sides, the more like they were to survive, provided help to the rebels to replace him."
And not only did he completely reverse his position on the no-fly zone, he flip-flopped on what would justify the bombing, Slate's Dave Weigel notes. Humanitarian reasons are no longer good enough.
Here's Gingrich today, March 23: "The standard [Obama] has fallen back to of humanitarian intervention could apply to Sudan, to North Korea, to Zimbabwe, to Syria this week, to Yemen, to Bahrain. This isn't a serious standard. ... I would not have intervened. I think there were a lot of other ways to affect Qaddafi."
But Gingrich is only the most flagrant example of a Republican pattern The Daily Show noticed Tuesday night. Prominent Republicans like Sens. John McCain and Linsday Graham and former U.N. ambassador John Bolton were all insisting a no-fly zone had to be established immediately right up until one was established.
But no one changed his position as fast as the Fox Business anchor who mocked President Obama for taking the time to fill out his NCAA basketball tournament bracket while crisis raged in Japan and Libya until a fellow reporter pointed out that Obama picked a bunch of No. 1 seeds. "Like everything else he does, he phoned that in as well," the anchor grumbled. "Damn you, Mr. President!" Stewart joked. "Not just for wasting time on the tournament, but for wasting so little time on it."