March 2nd, 2011
07:41 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The unrest in Libya has been a big focus of the Obama administration, but the president himself has avoided taking any questions on the violence or embattled leader Colonel Moammar Gadhafi.
As Mr. Obama wrapped up a surprise visit to the briefing room Wednesday where he expressed outrage over the attack in Frankfurt, Germany that killed two Americans, CNN asked if he had “anything to say on Libya?”
The president, who was already exiting the room returned to the podium. “I will have a chance to take some questions tomorrow, “ he said. “President Calderon from Mexico will be here and so I’ll give you guys a chance to ask a couple of questions on some of these and other pressing topics.”
The president has been clear about the administrations position on Libya. “This violence must stop,” he said during remarks at the White House last Wednesday.
Then following a phone call Saturday with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, where the two leaders discussed the unrest, the White House released a strongly worded statement. Gadhafi “has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now,” the president said.
White House spokesman Jay Carney defended the administrations strategy telling reporters that “presidential action comes in many different ways.”
Carney stressed that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN Ambassador Susan Rice had briefed reporters, taken questions and had discussed “in very clear terms the president’s position on the situation in Libya.”
Is the president prepared to take an even stronger posture when he finally answers questions on Thursday? A senior administration official told CNN, “TBD.”
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