Sunday Chatter: GOP hold up ‘Obama-is-weak’ card; GOP angling
March 9th, 2014
04:10 PM ET
9 months ago

Sunday Chatter: GOP hold up ‘Obama-is-weak’ card; GOP angling

The Sunday political talk shows were stacked with Republicans, and most of them said President Barack Obama has repeatedly showed weakness in his foreign policy, bolstering Russian President Vladimir Putin’s resolve and agenda in Ukraine.

If you missed any of the Sunday political chatter, we've got you covered:

Obama is not weak: Tony Blinken, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, defended the President and his response to Putin’s advancement in the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine.


“With regard to Russia, in coordination with our allies, we've imposed significant sanctions on Russia, and that's already exerting a cost. We've seen Russian markets go down substantially, the ruble go down and investors sitting on the fence,” Blinken said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Russia is paying a price for this.”

But Obama really is weak: But Republican adversaries aren’t buying it.

“The administration thought if we just act nice, everyone will act nice with us. That's not way that Putin and the Russian Federation sees the rest of the world,” Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on ABC’s “This Week.”

On CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” Rep. Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin and potential 2016 presidential candidate, criticized the United States’ “reset” policy with Russia as “wishful, naïve thinking” – a targeted jab at fellow potential presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who led that policy as secretary of state.

And former Vice President Dick Cheney, a foreign policy hawk, was the most pointed: “We have created an image around the world - not just for the Russians - of weakness, of indecisiveness,” he told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” guest host Charlie Rose.

Cheney said the world is “a safer, more stable place when the United States leads, when we have significant military capability, and when people know we will use it if necessary.”

“They no longer fear us,” he added.

“The Syrian situation is a classic - we got all ready to do something, but … at the last minute, Obama backed off.”

Syria is not Ukraine: When CNN’s Candy Crowley asked Blinken whether Putin sensed weakness after watching the United States deal with Syria, Blinken said the civil war in Syria and the United States’ policy there had no bearing on Ukraine.

“The notion that this is somehow a result of Syria makes very little sense to me. This is about Ukraine,” he said, adding that Obama and the United States are “doing the leading” against Putin.

Bob Gates, former defense secretary for both Obama’s and President George W. Bush’s administrations, defended the President on “Fox News Sunday.”

He said criticism of the President “ought to be toned down while he’s trying to handle the crisis,” Gates said.

Remember Georgia? Rogers, of Michigan, said Russia’s actions in Crimea are similar to what Russia did in Georgia in 2008.

“We’ve seen this story before, and when we didn’t react … we ended up buying into bigger trouble later, and I think that’s what you’re seeing happening,” he said.

Gates said President Bush didn’t receive the same criticism then as Obama is receiving now.

“My own view is, after all, Putin invaded Georgia when George W. Bush was President. Nobody ever accused George W. Bush of being weak or unwilling to use military force.”

Cheney addressed that, saying the Bush administration did respond to Russia’s invasion of Georgia.

“We did take some steps in terms of providing assistance to Georgia. We had ships in the region and so forth,” Cheney told Rose.

Two paths – for Russia and for the United States: Blinken laid out the Obama administration’s plan:

“What Putin is seeing is the President mobilizing the international community, both in support of Ukraine and isolate Russia for its actions in Ukraine,” Blinken said. He added that Russia has a choice to make: continue to push forward in Ukraine and face economic repercussions, or retreat.

“The President made it very clear in announcing our sanctions, as did the Europeans the other day, that this was a first step,” Blinken said.

But some Republicans outline a different path for Obama to take.

Cheney said the ballistic missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland should be put back on the table. He also said the United States should conduct joint military training exercises in Poland and provide equipment and training to the Ukrainian military.

Oil and natural gas: Republicans, who have been pushing the Obama administration to expand domestic oil and natural gas production, read from similar scripts Sunday, saying American energy production is critical to minimizing Putin’s international influence.

Ryan: “We're a nation with vast energy reserve and potential but with a government that's seen as hostile toward developing those energy reserves. If our government changed its tune on that, if we told Europe we are going to green light the languishing permit applications for exporting natural gas to Europe, that could do a lot to send signals that we're intent on loosening Russia's grip on its energy to Europe.”

Rep. Peter King of New York on NBC’s “Meet the Press”: “We have to increase exports of liquefied natural gas. These countries like England and others and Germany cannot be forced to rely on Russia. … The natural gas - we have enough to supply so many countries in the world. And we should right now start lifting restrictions. We should begin exporting as quickly as we can.”

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky on “Fox News Sunday”: I “would immediately get every obstacle out of the way for our export of oil and gas, and I would begin drilling in every possible conceivable place within our territories in order to have production that we could supply Europe with if it's interrupted from Ukraine.”

Cheney: “Energy is also a weakness for Russia. They depend on Petroleum for 50% of their GDP. Price of oil drops a few dollars, they go into recession.”

Rand Paul is not weak, either: Paul pushed back on criticism from fellow Republicans that he is an isolationist, saying those who criticize him do so for “their own person political gain.”

<> on March 7, 2014 in National Harbor, Maryland.

Paul recently said the United States needs to have a “respectful - sometimes adversarial but a respectful – relationship.”

“In fact, what Ronald Reagan said in about one sentence sums up a lot of what I believe. He said to our potential adversary, ‘Don't mistake our reluctance for war for a lack of resolve,’” Paul said.

Now for some politics: The annual Conservative Political Action Conference wrapped up Sunday with Sarah Palin reading a parody of Dr. Seuss’ children’s book “Green Eggs and Ham.”

But the real headline- grabbers from the conference were the nearly dozen possible 2016 presidential contenders who addressed the activist crowd and the fact that Paul was the overwhelming winner of the straw poll.

As Paul put it, CPAC is a friendly crowd because it is “chock full of young people” who share his concern over privacy rights even though he is also reaching out to Attorney General Eric Holder to repeal felon voting bans.

“I don't mind saying that I agree with the President or Eric Holder on this because I think the people who know me know that I will stand up to the President when he's wrong, which I think is quite a bit of the time,” he said.

Paul joked that at a friendly lunch to talk about felon voting, Paul said to Holder, "I'll see you in court," referring to his suit against he Obama administration's surveillance program.

His statements are a contrast to those of fellow Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who has been a major pain to many of his colleagues because he doesn’t play by the rules and holds little regard for taking one for the team.

Cruz told the CPAC crowd that Republicans who “don't stand and draw a clear distinction” or don’t stand for principle don’t win.

Ryan said Republican Party disagreements aren’t a civil war but rather show that the party has a “big tent.”

“I think we're a party with a vibrant debate adding ideas, solving problems. We're going to be OK,” he said.

The new Democrat has some words for the old Democrats: Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running to win his job back - this time as a Democrat - had loads of praise for Obama.

He said Obama has “a compassionate heart,” is “leading well” and that Democrats need to “support him.”

“God bless him,” Crist said about Obama twice during the interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

As for the endangered Democrats up for re-election who are running from the Affordable Care Act, Crist said they need to “strengthen up.”

The kicker: Ryan and Paul both enlightened us one more time about their plans for a 2016 presidential run. They both are considering.

Ryan also said House Speaker John Boehner is “controversial but doing a very good job.” But Ryan has no interest in taking on one of the most difficult jobs in Washington.


Filed under: Dick Cheney • Obama administration • Paul Ryan • Rand Paul • Russia • Ted Cruz • Ukraine • Uncategorized • Vladimir Putin
soundoff (510 Responses)
  1. Joi Gibson

    From what I can tell, all Republicans do is moan and groan and complain. They are the weak ones. It takes a whole lot of fortitude to stand on diplomatic principles in the face of someone like Count Vlad. If the United States is weak we have no farther to look than Afghanistan and Iraq. It sapped the life out of our treasury, our military, and our influence. Stuff it Dick Cheney and go back to Wyoming and be quiet.

    March 10, 2014 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  2. Laverne

    It is a right down shame that these hate filled republicans hate Obama so much they are willing to praise a dictator like Putin over our own Commander in Chief!!! This is unheard of with any other president including Jimmy Carter. I have visited many places in my life time and the US is right at the top of the list when it comes to being bigots and hate filled racist. It has been so disappointing hearing a country preach to other countries about humanity and fairness and this country is so far from both, but so blinded by money, power and political ambition they throw their own to the wolves!!

    March 10, 2014 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  3. tom l

    @rs
    "Someone posted (one of TOM I's pearls I believe) that Ms. Palin was "right" about Russia (or some such) and din't that make him (or her) right for once.

    Here's the thing folks: saying that Russia might at some point in time exert it's influence over its former states rates right up there with the sun may come up tomorrow for wisdom. Thus we see what passes for wisdom and diplomacy on the Right.

    Sorry, guys- weak, very weak."

    ====

    You just can't do it, can you? You can't admit that Obama was dead wrong in 2012 that the 80's called and want their foreign policy back, can you? You have to be partisan. You have to diminish that what she said was accurate and what Obama said was wrong. You're "sun may come up tomorrow" talking point is mindless and ignores facts. You have become the ultimate partisan, rs. Every single post is now all about repubs bad and dems good. No insight. No critical thinking. Just mindless partisan blabber.

    In the past few months, rs, you have become nothing more than a long winded Tampa Tim. No thought in your statements. No reasonability like you used to have. Just liberal talking points. It's sad.

    March 10, 2014 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  4. TxGran

    Mona, I couldn't have said it better. It isn't helpful to the U.S. for the Repub. behavior to be on display for the whole world to see. For gosh sakes, Obama won; they should believe it, accept it, and go on with their lives. If they would, perhaps they would win one, but this mean-spirited behavior doesn't cut it.

    March 10, 2014 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  5. Michael

    Why are these statements from Republicans considered news? At best, it is old news. The party of "no" is so predictable. This is like an article on the sun rising this morning. Nothing newsy about that.

    March 10, 2014 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  6. Laverne

    How can you be a socialist, but yet a communist? How you can you be a dictator and tyrant, but yet a weaklin? Sweet water and bitter water does not come out of the same place. You can't be the awful things they accuse this president of being and also the complete opposite of what they are accusing him of being! Then you got uncle tom clowns like Clarence Thomas who say we are too sensitive when it comes to race and everybody has a slight. This man is a ignorant pig and lives with an even more ignorant pig. To call being a slave, experiencing Jim Crow, being lynched just because the color of your skin a slight is an insult for all who had to endure someones prejudices, hate and abuse. Clarence Thomas is an example of what NOT to ever become as a man, let alone a black man. He has no valid opinions, no personality and no sense of who he is because he has been accepted by a crazy white woman who hate blacks and made it to the supreme court, not because he is a bright man, but because daddy Bush was trying to make a statement, which he could have kept as an idea.

    March 10, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  7. Darl

    Alot of people made the mistake thinking the President weak. Thinking things through is not a sign of weakness.

    March 10, 2014 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    tom l posted:

    .... You have become the ultimate partisan, rs. Every single post is now all about repubs bad and dems good. No insight. No critical thinking. Just mindless partisan blabber.

    In the past few months, rs, you have become nothing more than a long winded Tampa Tim. No thought in your statements. No reasonability like you used to have. Just liberal talking points. It's sad.
    --------------------------------
    Dude, you offered us the wisdom of Sarah Palin. You may call her insightful, but most call her inciteful. Mind your words, because you're toeing the line of hypocrisy by blasting them for "liberal talking points." Your narrow stereotypes have become infamous. "Why is it that liberals always [insert conservative talking point here]?"

    March 10, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  9. Wake up People!

    The GOP and the MSM have done more in the past 5 years to weaken us as a people than Al Queda could ever do. I've never seen so much disrespect aimed at the duly elected and reelected POTUS.

    Americans should be ashamed, but they won't. After all, America is exceptional. Rather melanin challenged America is...... They're always right, even when they are dead wrong.

    March 10, 2014 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  10. GlenR

    As always missing from any GOP whining are these little things....

    We would have????? No alternate plan

    Our previous policies would have....

    This is my favorite and shows once again the short selective memories of the delusional right.

    Not invading Syria was a sign of weakness but not going into the mountains of Tora Bora after Bin Laden wasn't.

    Not invading Lybia after the Benghazi attack was a sign of weakness but not doing anything after the killing of 200+ Marines in Beruit wasn't.

    The failed hostage rescue mission by Carter was a sign of weakness but the selling of weapons to Iran was OK.

    In reality GOP foriegn policy has done more damage to US interests than any Dem ever could.

    March 10, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  11. tom l

    tom l posted:

    .... You have become the ultimate partisan, rs. Every single post is now all about repubs bad and dems good. No insight. No critical thinking. Just mindless partisan blabber.

    In the past few months, rs, you have become nothing more than a long winded Tampa Tim. No thought in your statements. No reasonability like you used to have. Just liberal talking points. It's sad.
    ----------–
    Dude, you offered us the wisdom of Sarah Palin. You may call her insightful, but most call her inciteful. Mind your words, because you're toeing the line of hypocrisy by blasting them for "liberal talking points." Your narrow stereotypes have become infamous. "Why is it that liberals always [insert conservative talking point here]?"
    =====

    Lol. I'm merely pointing out that she happened to be correct about this. That's it. And at the same time Obama was wrong about this. That's it.

    As far as you pointing out "why is it that liberals...", dude, you're joking, correct?? Take a look in the mirror with your pearls of wisdom about conservatives and how you have labeled them. Pot, meet kettle.

    March 10, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  12. jack2

    It is what it is. Obama's image isn't weak because of anything a republican did. He has a weal image all over the wrold. Obama di this to himself.

    March 10, 2014 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. jack2

    It is what it is. Obama's image isn't weak because of anything a republican did. He has a weak image all over the wrold. Obama did this to himself.

    March 10, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    -tom l

    tom l posted:

    .... You have become the ultimate partisan, rs. Every single post is now all about repubs bad and dems good. No insight. No critical thinking. Just mindless partisan blabber.

    In the past few months, rs, you have become nothing more than a long winded Tampa Tim. No thought in your statements. No reasonability like you used to have. Just liberal talking points. It's sad.
    ----–
    Dude, you offered us the wisdom of Sarah Palin. You may call her insightful, but most call her inciteful. Mind your words, because you're toeing the line of hypocrisy by blasting them for "liberal talking points." Your narrow stereotypes have become infamous. "Why is it that liberals always [insert conservative talking point here]?"
    =====

    Lol. I'm merely pointing out that she happened to be correct about this. That's it. And at the same time Obama was wrong about this. That's it.

    As far as you pointing out "why is it that liberals...", dude, you're joking, correct?? Take a look in the mirror with your pearls of wisdom about conservatives and how you have labeled them. Pot, meet kettle.
    ******************
    Tom, you have a track record of prefacing your arguments like that. As far as Palin is concerned, she stumbled onto the right answer, but it does not make her any sort of sage on foreign policy. She's the living embodiment of a briken clock being correct twice a day: the rest of the time she's a shrieking partisan of the sort you claim you hate.

    March 10, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  15. Wake up People!

    The GOP has done nothing to get this country moving in the right direction. All they do is lie, whine, criticize and diminish the office of POTUS. They are nothing but traitors and are the most unpatriotic group to hit DC since the Confederates.

    This yelling and screaming to our enemies about how weak our POTUS is, does nothing but embolden them.

    But I'm truly beginning to think that's just what they want.......
    Respect the POTUS in times of crisis, no matter who he is or what party he belongs to. I never liked Bush, never thought he should be POTUS after that FL election debacle, but after 9/11 when he said we were going after those responsible, I jumped right behind him. I remember seeing him on TV and myself yelling, " You tell em George! They're azzes are out now!"

    Then the economy crashed, my company closed and I lost everything, only then was I back to bashing Bush.

    March 10, 2014 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    tom l posted:

    Lol. I'm merely pointing out that she happened to be correct about this. That's it. And at the same time Obama was wrong about this. That's it.

    As far as you pointing out "why is it that liberals...", dude, you're joking, correct?? Take a look in the mirror with your pearls of wisdom about conservatives and how you have labeled them. Pot, meet kettle.
    -------------------------
    No joke, bloke. You went on for months "trying to understand liberals" by posting remarks very similar to that. You wanted to understand the "liberal mind", so you posted questions asking people to explain conservative stereotypes, which is utterly ridiculous. If you want an explanation of a conservative stereotype, then you should ask a conservative.

    ou're stereotyping again. Post one of my "pearls of wisdom" then. I dare you to find even one. Cherry picking counts as a failure, BTW. You constatnly accuse me of name calling. Show us, then. I dislike name calling, and have posted that opinion so many times that you seem to have lost count.

    March 10, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  17. Rembrant

    Typical conservative Republican: Lots of blah blah blah, very few ideas of their own (other than beating the war drums).

    March 10, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. Enough is Enough

    "Obama is not weak: Tony Blinken, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, defended the President "

    He isn't he isn't he isn't.....Tony said, stomping his foot for emphasis....If he were a powerful leader there wouldn't be any question about it.....the fact that he has to have someone come out and defend him tell me that he is weak.

    March 10, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  19. tom l

    @The Real TP,
    "She's the living embodiment of a briken clock being correct twice a day: the rest of the time she's a shrieking partisan of the sort you claim you hate."
    =======

    I would agree with you about her happening to be right. How about Obama? Didn't he happen to be wrong. Like, really totally wrong (the 80's called and they want their foreign policy back)? Not only that, didn't he say he would have more "flexibility" with Medvedev? Wasn't he totally wrong about that, too? Let's not retort with what Bush did or didn't do, nor let's not talk about Palin because you guys freak out at the very mention of her name. Let's focus in on President Obama. Let's talk about how wrong he was with regards to this situation. Tell me your thoughts on that instead. Also, as far as Palin being a shrieking partisan...of course she is. She's in politics. They are all shrieking partisans so that doesn't bother me. That's what they're paid to do. Divide and conquer. Crips vs. Bloods.

    March 10, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  20. dw1650

    Don't worry GOP with all your "backseat driving" and rhetoric, I am sure you accomplished your goal in firing up your base along with gaining enough votes to win an election! Keep up the great work!...nothing like using the "cross your fingers" approach to winning an election!

    March 10, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. Rudy NYC

    tom l posted:

    I would agree with you about her happening to be right. How about Obama? Didn't he happen to be wrong. Like, really totally wrong (the 80's called and they want their foreign policy back)? Not only that, didn't he say he would have more "flexibility" with Medvedev? Wasn't he totally wrong about that, too? Let's not retort with what Bush did or didn't do, nor let's not talk about Palin because you guys freak out at the very mention of her name. Let's focus in on President Obama. Let's talk about how wrong he was with regards to this situation.
    -------------------------–
    I'd rather talk about just wrong you were about my name calling. I see that you have failed to find even one example, and have simply chosen to ignore your own error as if it never happened. I guess that topic is closed, then.

    March 10, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. jack2

    I don't know what it is that makes these last two presidents want to kiss Putins rear? Bush first said he looked into Putins eyes and saw a I can't remeber the excact words but basically a good man. Now Obama has neen on tv with Putin a number of times and it shows Obama like a puppy dog wanting Putins attention while Putin acts he he can't stand him

    March 10, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    tom l posted:

    "....Let's not retort with what Bush did or didn't do, nor let's not talk about Palin because you guys freak out at the very mention of her name. Let's focus in on President Obama. Let's talk about how wrong he was with regards to this situation. Tell me your thoughts on that instead. Also, as far as Palin being a shrieking partisan...of course she is. She's in politics. They are all shrieking partisans so that doesn't bother me. ...."
    --------------------------
    Once again, you're trying to manufacture the other sides argument, tom. Is this called controlling the conversation? BTW, the only reason why I'm posting any of this because YOU were the one who bought Palin into the conversation, if I'm not mistaken. It was YOU who had held her up as if she were some Oracle of Delphi.

    March 10, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    tom l

    @The Real TP,
    "She's the living embodiment of a briken clock being correct twice a day: the rest of the time she's a shrieking partisan of the sort you claim you hate."
    =======

    I would agree with you about her happening to be right. How about Obama? Didn't he happen to be wrong. Like, really totally wrong (the 80's called and they want their foreign policy back)? Not only that, didn't he say he would have more "flexibility" with Medvedev? Wasn't he totally wrong about that, too? Let's not retort with what Bush did or didn't do, nor let's not talk about Palin because you guys freak out at the very mention of her name. Let's focus in on President Obama. Let's talk about how wrong he was with regards to this situation. Tell me your thoughts on that instead. Also, as far as Palin being a shrieking partisan...of course she is. She's in politics. They are all shrieking partisans so that doesn't bother me. That's what they're paid to do. Divide and conquer. Crips vs. Bloods.
    ***************
    So was McCain, Graham, and virtually everyone else. Don't tell me that Bush's comment about looking into his eyes doesn't count, since that set the whole stage. You demand to know my thoughts on Obama, because you think you have a winning point: not going to happen. Its obvious mistakes were made, but instead of gloating, tell us what you should do. Why does it take an invasion by someone the Right was praising less than a year ago to realize we all grossly underestimated him? BTW, the problem we have with Palin is that she has contributed nothing to our national discourse, and i cannot believe you are so thrilled she was right on this rare occasion that you over look everything else she ahs done. You talk about Cripps and Bloods, you are at least as partisan yourself. At least be honest enough to admit it.

    March 10, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  25. sly

    GOP is just mad that America hasn't already declared World War III on Russia.

    This is an issue for the United Nations.

    Thank you President Obama for staying out of it. And thank you President Obama for being the first President in 25 years to have not started a war yet.

    March 10, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
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