Gingrich: Obama is 'spectator in chief'

President Obama is acting more like a "spectator in chief" than a "commander in chief," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) charged Thursday evening.

Gingrich, who's mulling his own campaign for Obama's job in 2012, accused the president of passivity on the situations in Japan and Libya.

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"Well, I think what is increasingly clear is that we have a spectator in chief instead of a commander in chief," Gingrich said on Fox News. "It is maybe the most passive and out-of-touch presidency in modern American history. He makes Jimmy Carter's micromanaging the tennis courts at the White House look tiny compared to the degree to which he's avoiding doing his job right now."

The former Speaker's attack mirrors what other Republicans have said about the president in recent days, accusing Obama of sitting back too much in his response to major crises.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) accused Obama of being "all talk, no action" when it comes to cutting spending, and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) warned, "Actions speak louder than words."

"The question is not only what is the president saying, but what is he doing?" Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said of Obama's energy policies earlier this week on CNBC.

Gingrich said Obama should be more active in his response to the political upheaval in Libya and the looming nuclear crisis in Japan, seizing on the president's most recent extracurricular activity, filling out NCAA brackets on ESPN.

"Yes, the administration has just sort of checked out," Gingrich said. "But what is strange is, with all of these crises, how could you focus that kind of time and attention as president of the United States? Not as a private citizen, not as a spectator, not as a hobby."


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