Republicans are taking sides over President Obama’s handling of the volatile situation that has gripped Egypt. 2012 GOP presidential contender and present Fox News commentator Sarah Palin has railed against the President’s handling of the protests in Egypt calling for President Hosni Mubarak to step down.
However, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham disagrees with Palin. Appearing on CNN Monday night, Graham says the President is handling the situation in a way that protects America’s interests.
Mubarak is going to go. He’s announced that he will not seek re-election. The question for President Obama, the country and world is “what do you do between now and September?” The sooner we can get a transition government, the sooner we can build opposition capacity to have a full, fair, free and transparent election in September, the better. But I have no fault with President Obama and the e way he has handled this crisis.
Graham, who has been critical of Obama’s handling of diplomatic situations in the past, applauds Obama for learning from past missteps like Iran.
A little over a year ago when President Obama was slow to react and not get behind the (Iranian) demonstrators was a missed opportunity. I think what he’s done in Egypt has been sort of like lessons learned from Iran. I disagree with Governor Palin over this particular issue. The lesson from Iran is that if you don’t get behind the right side of history quickly, you will regret it and I think we last an opportunity in Iran. I think now we are creating an opportunity in Egypt by being involved.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, a member of the Senate Tea Party Caucus, has called on the U.S. to pull all of its aid from Egypt because of the unrest. Not so fast, says Graham. A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Graham says Egypt has been a vital ally in the Middle East.
The army is the most stable institution in Egypt. They’re respected by the people, and most of our aid to Egypt in the last 30 years has gone to the army. Before the 30 year involvement by the United States, Egypt was in the Soviet sphere, but now that the Soviet empire has collapsed, it is good we have a relationship with the Egyptian Army. They buy American equipment, there officers trained here in America. This relationship with the army has been a godsend during this crisis.