Sen. Marco Rubio Says Had US Moved More Aggressively, Gadhafi’s Killing Would Have Happened Months Ago

Oct 20, 2011 2:46pm

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who traveled with other members of Congress to Libya last month, said that even though the administration’s handling of Libya turned out well, as evidenced by the killing of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi today, the administration ”failed” by moving too slow at the outset, with consequences already seen for the country.

“I think the president did the right thing, he just took too long to do it and he didn’t do enough of it,” Rubio said at a news conference today. “Had the U.S. gotten in early, aggressively and decisively, today would have happened months ago, Libya wouldn’t be as destroyed, it wouldn’t cost as much money to rebuild, there wouldn’t be as many people dead or injured and there wouldn’t be as many injured or rockets missing.”

Rubio said the administration failed to “do the right thing at the right time,” and said credit should go to the right people for the killing of Gadhafi.

“Number one, the French and the British carried the load on that, and let’s not forget that,” he said. “Number two, the Libyan people … those are Libyans who are laying there in those beds and who fought for their freedom and were able to accomplish it. The British, the French and our NATO allies who were involved.”

The senator from Florida said this is a “new chapter” for the Libyan people “to create for themselves a free Libya,” but they face real challenges that the United States, he said, should help with.

“Primarily, in the short term, what we really could do to help, along with our allies,” Rubio said. “is to provide some medical assistance to help, especially those who have lost limbs to be able to rehab and be productive citizens and members of their work force.”

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