Election 2020

Levin: Don't Judge Hillary on Libya as It Will Work Out 'Someday'

PHILADELPHIA – Former Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), a former chairman of the Armed Services Committee, told PJM Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is “steady” and would not “rush” to use force contrary to her rival Donald Trump.

Levin also said the intervention in Libya, which Clinton supported as secretary of State, would ultimately work out well someday.

“I think she’s very, very solid. I was chairman of the Armed Services Committee for about 10 years. She was on the Armed Services Committee for many of those years. She is very thoughtful, very solid. She would use force if necessary as a last resort. She would not rush to force,” he said during an interview at the Democratic National Convention.

“She’s steady, stable, unlike her opponent who is totally unsteady. He’s unreliable. You don’t know what he would do because he doesn’t have any idea of being a commander in chief,” he added.

Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said Clinton’s support for the war in Libya “goes beyond bad judgment.” Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) said Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, who was killed during the invasion, was cooperating with the U.S. government before the Obama administration decided to intervene militarily in Libya in 2011. Hoekstra, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Libya remains “ungoverned” today and has become a “cesspool” of jihadists.

Levin expressed a different view.

“No, I think that move will ultimately work out well. So far, it hasn’t, but you have to remember that we were part of a worldwide coalition getting rid of Gadhafi. This is not going it alone, like George Bush did in Iraq and destabilized the whole Middle East when he went alone with the United States,” he said. “We were part of a coalition in Libya. It was a UN operation. It was an international operation. It had broad support. It has not worked out the way we wanted it to, but someday it would – but it was carefully thought out.”

Levin criticized Trump for floating the idea of leaving NATO.

“She is steady and you can’t compare her to Trump, who talks about pulling out of NATO very casually – ‘we might pull out of NATO, I’ll have to think about it or if they don’t pay their dues, yeah, we’ll pull out.’ I don’t know if he understands the implications of weakening NATO,” he said.

“You’ve got countries that fought for freedom from the Soviet Union then from Russia and when the Iron Curtain fell they were able to join NATO, and he just casually talks about ‘maybe we will pull out of the NATO.’ This is a very irresponsible thing to do – dangerous for America, and that’s not the kind of thing that Hillary would talk about.”