Flashback: Media Amazed by Obama's 'Deft' Libya Policy

The media's full-throttle attack on Mitt Romney's condemnation of Barack Obama's weak handling of the Libyan crisis isn't surprising given they invested so much time praising the President's Libyan policy in 2011. During the Arab Spring of 2011, Time's Mark Halperin called the administration’s policy toward Libya "deft" and CBS’s Norah O'Donnell declared Obama's "victories" in the Middle East would "burnish his credentials as a world leader." NBC's David Gregory hailed that since Obama "has been tested" in the foreign policy "arena" he would use the experience as "a club against Republicans."

The following quotes are the worst examples of journalists' adulation of Obama's Libyan policy back in 2011:

Team Obama's 'Remarkable' Libya Performance

"[U.S. Ambassador] Susan Rice did a remarkable job at the UN. No one could have predicted, even critics of the policy could not predict such a muscular resolution being approved and the abstentions from Russia and China. This came much faster than anyone expected, and came with some very adept diplomacy....This was pretty remarkable - bringing this whole coalition together and getting the Arab League."
NBC's Andrea Mitchell on Meet the Press, March 20, 2011.

"I think you can nitpick what happened in Egypt, Obama policy in Egypt, and Libya, but in general I think they've been extremely deft in a very tough situation."
Time's Mark Halperin on MSNBC's Morning Joe, March 28, 2011.

Qadhafi's Demise = "Vindication" for Obama

Host Martin Bashir: "After putting up with months of criticism, the accusation was that he led from behind, he didn't know what he was doing. Isn't this the complete vindication of his strategy?"
Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart: "I would think so."
— MSNBC's Martin Bashir, October 20, 2011.

Fill-in anchor George Stephanopoulos: "Jake, the President was careful not to take too much credit in the Rose Garden, but behind the scenes White House officials have to be feeling some sense of vindication."
Correspondent Jake Tapper: "They do. They see this as a vindication for Obama's foreign policy."
— ABC's World News, October 20, 2011.

"It is remarkable for a President whose own foreign policy credentials were repeatedly questioned when he was campaigning for the job of Commander-in-Chief....These victories will no doubt burnish his credentials as a world leader, as a President who can fight terrorism."
— White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell on the October 21, 2011 CBS Evening News.

Brilliant Obama vs. Goofball Republicans
 
"This is a leadership moment for the President. And at a time when government can't do a lot about the economy, it's certainly a time when he's accomplishing a lot, the President is, in foreign policy....If you look at this Republican debate, and this series of debates, there has been the betrayal of a lack of understanding in foreign policy in some sections of these debates that is stunning to a lot of people...This is a President who has been tested now repeatedly in that arena, and I think it's something that he'll try to use as a club against Republicans in the debate."
— NBC's David Gregory on Today, October 23, 2011.

CNN Host Complains: There's Not Enough Praise for Obama
 
"The media wallowed for months, I would say, in criticism of the administration's Libya policy. Why don't they stop now and give some credit to the President when a brutal regime is toppled and the policy has been successful?"
— Host Howard Kurtz on CNN's Reliable Sources, October 23, 2011.

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.