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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida reacts to Obama's speech defending U.S. involvement in Libya



President Obama tonight explained and defended the U.S. involvement in Libya. Story here. Reaction from Florida:

Sen. Bill Nelson, Democrat: "I think President Obama did the right thing by joining other countries to protect Libyan civilians from being attacked by forces loyal to Muammar el-Qaddafi. The United Nations passed a resolution calling for such measures after Qaddafi proved that he was willing to slaughter his own people. The American people support the military action, but still had questions about it.  And the president needed to address them. Tonight, I think he clearly explained how we’re involved in a limited campaign, and NATO has taken command of continuing operations."

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami: “While I am pleased that the President spoke directly to the American people this evening about the situation in Libya, many questions remain about U.S. short, medium, and long term goals. I will continue to press for more answers from the Administration on the U.S. political and military objectives going forward, the nature and extent of U.S. involvement, the potential implications for vital U.S. interests, and what would constitute the completion of the mission."

Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami: “Tonight, the President set forth our mission and the nature of our involvement in Libya. From the very beginning, the President has worked in partnership with the international community to enforce a ‘no-fly zone’ to prevent the slaughter of so many innocent civilians. Through swift action, the United States has averted what could have been a catastrophic genocide."

Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta: “I appreciate President Obama speaking to the American people about our mission in Libya. Unfortunately, the President left many questions unanswered, and he continues to send mixed messages about our ultimate goals in Libya. The President has limited authority to use military force without authorization from Congress when there is an imminent national security threat, but he made clear that he acted for humanitarian, not national security, reasons. That is a clear violation of the War Powers Act. The President still owes the American people an explanation for his decision to transfer authority from them, through their representatives in Congress, to an international body. President Obama must have Congressional authorization for this mission to continue."

[Last modified: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 11:05am]


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