WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney became, on Tuesday, the first of the potential 2012 GOP presidential contenders to call for the exit of Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak.
Speaking on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Romney said although President Obama should not publicly support Mubarak’s removal, the time for it had come.
“I don’t know that I would say to the president, ‘You should call for Mubarak’s resignation,’ ” Romney said. “That, I think, flies in the face of a long history of friendship between he and our country and our friends, but it is very clear that [Mubarak] needs to move on and transition to the voices of democracy.”
Romney largely praised the administration’s response to the crisis, aligning himself with Republican leaders in Congress who favor a unified approach to the unrest in Egypt. Other potential candidates, such as Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee, have been more alarmist, warning that Mubarak’s departure could lead to a takeover of the nation’s government by the Muslim Brotherhood, a political group that claims its goals are secular but whom some critics view as Islamic radicals.