ABC News’ Rick Klein (@rickklein) report: With bipartisan anger flashing at President Obama over Libya and foreign policy, a bipartisan group of House members is taking the Obama administration to court, challenging the president’s authority to engage in a bombing campaign in Libya without congressional authorization.
On ABC’s “Top Line” today, Rep. Walter Jones Jr., one of the co-signers of the lawsuit, told us that the president had no good reason to attack Muammar Gaddafi.
“Libya had done nothing to America. I realize they've got an evil leader, Gadhafi, but still, you don't go around the world attacking countries because they have an evil leader,” said Jones, R-N.C.
“Why in the world didn't president Obama come to the Congress and say, ‘Look, I got a concern, I'm concerned about the national security, and I might need to have the authorization to go in and take Gadhafi out.’ But he didn't do that,” he continued. “The president is not a king. He was elected by the people, just like the House and Senate — we were elected by the people.”
“I think he is absolutely off-base,” Jones said. “I think that is an abuse of power, and that's why we're going to the courts.”
Jones voted for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, though he turned against them sooner than virtually all of his GOP allies, and emerged as a prominent anti-war voice while President George W. Bush was still in office.
He told us today that he detects a growing sentiment inside his part about the need for an exit strategy from the wars Obama inherited.
“It is definitely changing,” he said. “It is about the money situation. And … we're wearing out our military. They have done everything they've been asked to do in Afghanistan, but history shows you will never change Afghanistan. For those two reasons, more and more Republicans are seriously looking at our position.”
Jones said his position is also gaining traction among the GOP presidential contenders: “Ron Paul has always been outspoken about the war, but Michele Bachmann and even Mr. [Mitt] Romney — they're more and more beginning to see if you don't have a definition of victory, then you're not going to ever know what victory is.”
Watch the full interview with Rep. Walter Jones HERE.