Vineyard Haven, MASSACHUSETTS -- White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Sunday that Colonel Moammar Qaddafi's "days are numbered" as President Obama continued to get regular updates on the dramatic situation in Libya, with rebels reportedly moving closer and closer to reaching the capital of Tripoli to try and knock the dictator out of power.
While Obama spent more than two hours at a local beach with his wife and two daughters and then departed separately from his family in order to get in his second round of golf on this vacation, Earnest told reporters here the president was briefed on Libya earlier in the morning by one of his top national security aides, who is on the island with Obama.
"This morning, the President was briefed on the situation in Libya by John Brennan, including inputs from our team in Benghazi," Earnest said in a prepared statement. "The national security team will continue to provide updates to the President on this situation, as necessary."
Adding in reference to the rebels, Earnest said, "The United States continues to communicate closely with our allies, partners, and the TNC. We believe that (Qaddafi's) days are numbered, and that the Libyan people deserve a just, democratic and peaceful future."
In March, Obama joined key NATO allies in leading a limited military operation in Libya. Critics in both parties suggested there was not a clear rationale for the mission and Congress was not adequately consulted on the mission.
But in a speech to the nation at the National Defense University, Obama stressed no U.S. ground forces would be used in the conflict and said his administration was compelled to act amid "brutal repression and a looming humanitarian crisis" brought on by Qaddafi, whom he labeled a "tyrant" in the speech.