Protests in Egypt prompted a historical transfer of power last week that resonated throughout the world. In the days following the resignation of former President Hosni Mubarak, politicians in the United States graded their leader on his handling of the unrest in Egypt.
According to media reports, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) have praised President Barack Obama for his diplomacy in the past several weeks. The GOP lawmakers said that Obama managed the situation well considering the conflict was between Mubarak, a longtime ally of the U.S., and democracy-driven protesters demanding accountability from their government.
However, both Boehner and McCain questioned why the Federal government did not see these protests coming months ago. On CBS’ Face the Nation, McCain added that Obama’s administration should have spoken up for the protesters in Iran — who revolted against the presidential elections in 2009 — in much the same way it stuck up for the Egyptian opposition.
Several potential GOP candidates for the 2012 Presidential election have slammed Obama for his cautious approach to the protests. On ABC’s This Week, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty said that the President was “nearly incoherent” in his public statements regarding the events in Egypt. He added that Obama should have taken a stronger public stand against a possible government takeover by the influential Muslim Brotherhood.
On the same television program, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich criticized Obama for his lack of diplomacy, claiming that other foreign leaders may be apprehensive to trust U.S. leadership if “they see you publicly abandon somebody who’s been with you for 30 years.”