During Thursday night’s debate in Houston, Texas, Donald Trump denied having ever supported the Obama administration’s efforts to remove Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi from power. The record on this, however, is clear. In the run-up to what would be a massive foreign policy debacle (with Hillary Clinton as its chief architect), the Republican frontrunner vocally supported American intervention to topple the dictator.
From the debate:
TRUMP: But let me just tell you, Syria, he’s saying that I was in favor of Syria. He said I was in favor of Libya? I never discussed that subject. I was in favor of Libya? We would be so much better off if Gadhafi were in charge right now.
Ted Cruz immediately called Trump out:
CRUZ: You know, it’s interesting, Donald just said that he never came out in favor of toppling Gadhafi in Libya. Well, he stated that in an interview that will be on our Web site, tedcruz.org.
You can see and hear the exact words from Donald’s mouth. And I assume when he sees that interview, maybe he forgot about it, but I assume Donald will apologize where he sees that he said exactly that.
TedCruz.org links to BuzzFeed, the left-wing site that dug up a video from February of 2011 where Trump says clearly that the U.S. should go into Libya “on a humanitarian basis” and “knock this guy out very quickly, very surgically, very effectively and save the lives.” Here is a fuller transcript:
I can’t believe what our country is doing. Gadhafi, in Libya, is killing thousands of people. Nobody knows how bad it is and we’re sitting around. We have soliders all over the Middle East and we’re not bringing them in to stop this horrible carnage. And that’s what it is, a carnage. … Now we should go in. We should stop this guy which would be very easy and very quick. We could do it surgically, stop him from doing it and save these lives. This is absolute nuts. We don’t want to get involved and you’re going to end up with something like you’ve never seen before. Now, ultimately the people will appreciate it and they’re going to end up taking over the country eventually. But the people will appreciate it and they should pay us back. But we have to go in to save these lives. These people are being slaughtered like animals. … We should do it on a humanitarian basis. Immediately go into Libya, knock this guy out very quickly, very surgically, very effectively and save the lives.
Earlier this month, Trump found himself in a similar controversy regarding his oft-stated claim that he opposed the Iraq War from the beginning. Despite the claims of his critics, the record is on Trump’s side. Just days after the war began, Trump was on record calling it a “mess.” The only evidence found so far that suggests Trump supported the war is a wan, “Yeah, I guess so,” to Howard Stern a full six months before the war began.
Breitbart News reached out to the Trump campaign for comment and will update accordingly.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC