- Associated Press - Friday, June 24, 2011

LINTHICUM, Md. — Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on Thursday criticized President Obama for saying the “tide of war is receding,” when the nation continues to face a variety of problems not only in Afghanistan, but also in relationships with North Korea, Pakistan and Iran.

“I want to challenge the president to withdraw the phrase because it totally misleads the American people and it represents a delusional version of the real world,” Gingrich said during a speech at a Maryland Republican Party fundraising dinner.

Mr. Gingrich reacted to Mr. Obama’s Wednesday night announcement that he planned to withdraw 33,000 troops from Afghanistan by next summer. Mr. Gingrich described Mr. Obama’s speech as “dangerously misinformed.”

“I’m not very comfortable that Egypt is going to work out well,” Mr. Gingrich said. “I’m not very comfortable that Tunisia is going to work out well. I’m not very comfortable that Libya is going to work out well, but of course the president has promised us that the tide of war is receding, but I think we may in fact be seeing the buildup of an enormous wave of violence on a scale we have not seen in a long time.”

Mr. Gingrich also criticized Mr. Obama for not seeking congressional consent for U.S. involvement in the NATO-led military operation against Libya.

“He is not the ambassador to the United Nations,” Mr. Gingrich said.

Mr. Gingrich appeared in Maryland a day after he brushed aside the significance of continuing departures of staff from his presidential campaign. Earlier this week, Mr. Gingrich’s campaign confirmed that its top fundraisers had left. Sixteen advisers and staff walked away earlier this month.

Mr. Gingrich is scheduled to be in Iowa on Saturday.

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