Morality matters to President Joe Biden.
The President said on Monday that he would make “no apologies” and he wasn’t “walking anything back” after his weekend comment that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power.” President Biden’s tone clearly expressed his own outrage about Putin as he reached the end of a speech on Saturday in Warsaw that was intended to rally Ukraine’s Western allies for a long global struggle against autocracy. The misconstrued comments instead stirred controversy in the United States and rattled some allies in Western Europe as they mistook his rhetoric for a call to action.
The President insisted he wasn’t demanding a regime change in Moscow. “I was expressing the moral outrage that I felt toward this man,” President Biden said. “I wasn’t articulating a policy change.” He also rejected the idea that his comment could escalate tensions over the war in Ukraine or that it would feed Russian propaganda about Western aggression. “Nobody believes … I was talking about taking down Putin,” Biden said, adding that “the last thing I want to do is engage in a land war or a nuclear war with Russia.”
I went to Europe with a clear message: We must commit now to be in the fight for democracy for the long haul. We stand with the people of Ukraine and we will continue to ensure Russia pays a severe price for its war of choice. pic.twitter.com/1gRvYnvNdr
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 27, 2022
True to form, Republicans and right-wing pundits seized on the President’s comments while overlooking the often glaringly dangerous rhetoric from President Biden’s predecessor which often left his staff scrambling to explain.
— Tara Dublin 🇺🇦🌻 (@taradublinrocks) March 28, 2022
“If we’re so worried about provoking him that we couldn’t even send MiGs into Ukraine, how is this any different?” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “In fact, I would say it’s more provocative than sending MiGs into Ukraine.”
I kid you not right now…
— Rob 🌻🇺🇦 (@DCRobMan) March 28, 2022
The U.S. has been rushing weapons like anti-tank missiles into Ukraine and is considering providing anti-ship missiles to make it harder for Russia to mount an amphibious offensive along the Black Sea coast.