Only a billion?

(The Hill) — President Obama said Tuesday the often-repeated idea that the U.S. led from behind in the ouster of Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi was incorrect.

“We led from the front,” Obama said in a pre-taped interview for “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” “We introduced the resolution in the United Nations that allowed us to protect civilians in Libya when Gadhafi was threatening to slaughter them. It was our extraordinary men and women in uniform, our pilots who took out their air defense systems, set up a no-fly zone.”

Many Republicans, including Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), have accused Obama of putting international forces in charge the fighting in Libya. Sen. Marco Rubio said after Gadhafi’s death that “the French and the British that lead on this fight.”

Because his administration was “able to organize the international community,” Obama told Leno, operations in Libya “only cost us a billion dollars” and no U.S. troops were killed or injured.

“That, I think, is a recipe for success in the future,” he said.