Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich criticized President Obama for apologizing to Afghanistan over a Koran-burning incident.
A few hours after Obama's apology aired on Thursday morning, news agencies reported that an Afghan soldier retaliated by killing two U.S. troops and wounding several others.
Gingrich, who was campaigning in Washington state, called the apology "astonishing" and "undeserved."
"There seems to be nothing that radical Islamists can do to get Barack Obama's attention in a negative way, and he is consistently apologizing to people who do not deserve the apology of the president of the United States, period," Gingrich said.
"And candidly, if Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, doesn't feel like apologizing, then we should say goodbye and good luck," he added.
"We don't need to be here risking our lives and wasting our money on somebody who doesn't care," he said.
Before Gingrich made his comments, the White House tried to belay any criticism of the president's apology.
"It is wholly appropriate, given the sensitivities to this issue, the understandable sensitivities," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters traveling to Miami with the president on Air Force One.
"His primary concern as commander in chief is the safety of the American men and women in Afghanistan, of our military and civilian personnel there. And it was absolutely the right thing to do," he said.
*Originally published February 24, 2012.