Editor's note: This revised story reflects the fact that Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty also had said, on Jan. 31, that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak should step down.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty have broken ranks with some other likely Republican presidential candidates on Egypt, calling for President Hosni Mubarak to step down.
Romney praised President Barack Obama’s handling of the crisis. "I think what the United States has to do is make it very clear to the people of Egypt that we stand with the voices of democracy and freedom, and we also have to communicate I think, as the administration has," he said on ABC's "Good Morning America."
America should make clear "that we would like to see a transition to permanent democracy,” one that "would be best undertaken if President Mubarak were to step out of the way or lead the transition," Romney says.
On Monday, The Des Moines Register quoted Pawlenty as saying: “I think his time is going to come to an end. It should come to an end. But as that vacuum gets filled, we want to do all we can to make sure it gets filled by institutions and people and leaders that share our principles, and values of freedom and democracy and human rights.”
Two other potential Republican presidential candidates, including John Bolton and Mike Huckabee, have warned that backing the protesters could lead to an Islamist government in Egypt that would threaten Israel and the rest of the region.
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