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Newt Gingrich to Afghanistan: 'Figure out how to live your own miserable life'

GOP presidential candidate amps up his criticism of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan while speaking at a business luncheon in Nashville.

Newt Gingrich Afghanistan 2012 02-27Enlarge
Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich gives a TV interview in January before speaking to voters inside the 'Grapevine Restaurant,' in Boiling Springs, S.C. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Newt Gingrich said it is impossible to “fix” Afghanistan and suggested the U.S. should to tell Afghan citizens to “figure out how to live your own miserable life," the Washington Post reported.

Speaking at a business luncheon in Nasvhille, Tenn., on Monday, the GOP presidential candidate amped up his criticism of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan after a string of attacks by Afghan soldiers on American troops, according to the Post.

“We are not going to fix Afghanistan. It is not possible,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the former House speaker as saying. “These are people who have spent several thousand years hating foreigners. And what we have done by staying is become the new foreigners.

“This is a real problem. And there are some problems where you have to say, ‘You know, you are going to have to figure out how to live your own miserable life… because you clearly don’t want to learn from me how to be unmiserable. And that is what you are going to see happen.”

More from GlobalPost: Afghanistan: Car bomb kills 9 at Jalalabad airport

Gingrich was among the earliest and loudest critics of President Barack Obama’s apology to Afghan President Hamid Karzai over the U.S. burning of Qurans at Bargram air base, calling the apology an “outrage," according to Talking Points Memo.

Fellow candidates Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney also criticized the president’s apology.

More from GlobalPost: Santorum and Romney: US should not apologize for Quran burnings

Romney on Fox News Sunday said the apology sticks in the throat of the American people.

“We’ve made an enormous contribution to help the people there achieve freedom, and for us to be apologizing at a time like this is something which is very difficult for the American people to countenance,” he said.

Santorum said the apology “shows weakness.”

The Quran burnings have sparked days of protests in Afghanistan. More than 30 people have been killed -- including four Americans -- and more than 200 people have been wounded, Reuters reported.

More from GlobalPost: Afghanistan: 2 US soldiers reportedly kills by Afghan, as Obama apologizes over Quran burning

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120227/newt-gingrich-afghanistan-figure-out-how-live-yo