Still voting present.

Aboard Air Force One (AP) — The U.S. is condemning as “appalling” the violence in Libya, where security forces are unleashing a bloody crackdown on protesters demanding the ouster of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

White House spokesman Jay Carney called on the Libyan government to respect the universal rights of its citizens and allow peaceful protests to take place. Echoing earlier White House statements about protests in Egypt, Carney says the future of Libya needs to be decided by the Libyan people.

Carney spoke to reporters traveling with the president to Cleveland.

Gadhafi appeared on state television Tuesday and vowed to fight protesters and to die a martyr.

Via CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller who just finished listening to Obama speak: