Conservative lawmakers mock Biden for 2020 ‘toe-to-toe’ tweet concerning Putin two years ahead of Ukraine invasion

by mcardinal

Chris Lange, FISM News


Conservatives had a field day deriding President Joe Biden over a comment he made exactly two years ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to send troops into Ukraine in which Biden claimed that his presence in the White House would serve as a deterrent against Putin’s dangerous ambitions. 

The President responded to Putin’s Monday decree that two Moscow-backed regions in Ukraine are “independent” and his military’s subsequent encroachment onto Ukrainian soil by announcing sanctions on two Russian banks that include blocking transactions with the U.S. and other European countries and freezing the global financial institutions’ assets. Numerous lawmakers, however, including some Democrats, have suggested that even harsher actions should have been taken sooner to prevent Putin executing the first phase of his plan to reconstitute the former Soviet Union.

Republican lawmakers were quick to point out what they perceive to be irony in Biden’s 2020 declaration that he was ready to go “toe to toe” with Putin, which came exactly two years ahead of Russian troops entering Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk breakaway regions following weeks of diplomatic overtures from the U.S. and NATO allies.

“Vladimir Putin doesn’t want me to be President. He doesn’t want me to be our nominee. If you’re wondering why — it’s because I’m the only person in this field who’s ever gone toe-to-toe with him,” Biden tweeted February 21, 2020. 

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) mocked the President by suggesting that Twitter label his 2020 tweet as “disinformation.”

“Hey, @Twitter I would like to report some disinformation,” Stefanik wrote Tuesday, flagging Biden’s tweet.

Others soon joined in on the Biden bashing:

“You were saying…?” quipped Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), also flagging the Biden tweet.

Stefanik and fellow GOP lawmakers have suggested that Biden’s perceived impotence on the world stage in the face of foreign threats has emboldened Putin.

“Sadly, President Biden consistently chose appeasement, and his tough talk on Russia was never followed by strong action,” Stefanik said in a joint statement Tuesday with House Republican leadership. “Lethal aid was slow-walked, anti-air and anti-ship capabilities were never directly provided, pre-invasion sanctions proportionate to the aggression Putin had already committed were never imposed, and sanctions on Nord Stream 2 were waived.”

While Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz this week suspended the Russia-Germany Nord Stream 2 pipeline, GOP leaders said Biden should have permanently ended the massive energy project and imposed more crippling economic sanctions “on the industries which the Russian military relies on to make war.”

Many Republican leaders believe energy will become a major focus of the clash between the East and West and are urging Biden to renew former President Trump’s efforts to make the U.S. energy independent.

“[A]s House Republicans have been saying for a year, President Biden must finally promote U.S. energy development and help the United States become Europe’s energy partner of choice,” they wrote, adding, “China, Iran and North Korea are watching. They must see us respond firmly to this Russian aggression.”