During a campaign stop in Iowa Monday, Speaker of the House John Boehner tried to make the case that former President George W. Bush wouldn’t have allowed Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade Crimea. In Boehner’s mind, if Bush was still POTUS, Putin would have been too scared to go into the Ukrainian peninsula because he would have known that “Bush would have punched him in the nose in about 10 seconds.” Obviously, this was Boehner’s attempt to paint President Obama as a ‘weak and timid’ leader while simultaneously rehabbing the former president’s image.
Below is video of Boehner’s comments, courtesy of The Right Pundit:
Below is a transcript of Boehner’s comments:
Five years ago, the president of the United States went to Europe and he went to the Middle East on what I’ll call his ‘apology tour’ – apologizing for America being strong, apologizing for America leading.
And the manifestation of that apology tour is what we see in the chaos going on around the world today. I talk to world leaders every week. They want America to lead. They’re begging America to lead. Because when America leads and America’s strong, the world is a safer place.
When you look at this chaos that’s going on, does anybody think that Vladimir Putin would have gone into Crimea had George W. Bush been president of the United States? No! Even Putin is smart enough to know that Bush would have punched him in the nose in about 10 seconds.
First off, we have Boehner pushing the long debunked conservative myth that Obama went on a lengthy ‘apology tour’ around the world right after he was elected. Even though it has been proven to be false and Republicans know it is a bunch of crap, Boehner has no qualms repeating it in order to get a positive reaction from conservative voters. Furthermore, he then uses that as a segue to attack POTUS for his supposed failure to lead while puffing up the false notion that Bush would have prevented Putin from taking over Crimea.
Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal Constitution completely dismantled Boehner’s comments about Bush and his toughness Tuesday morning. He pointed out that Bush didn’t seem to mind too much when Putin invaded another neighboring country back in 2008. Bookman also highlighted Bush’s previous comments about Putin where he praised the Russian President, claiming he was “very straightforward and trustworthy” and the he got “a sense of his soul.”
1.) This would be the same George W. Bush who told the world that he had peered into Putin’s eyes and “found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul.”
2.) This would be the same George W. Bush who did almost nothing but issue mild protests when Putin invaded the nation of Georgia in 2008. Certainly, no fists flew; a fist may have been feebly shaken, but that’s about it.
Bookman also took Boehner to task for claiming that Obama has been weak on Putin and Russia in response to Putin’s actions in Ukraine. As he accurately noted, the Obama Administration has hit Russia with tough economic sanctions that have had a real effect on the country’s financial markets and economy.
5.) Rather than “punch Putin in the nose in 10 seconds,” Obama has led a highly successful effort to impose economic sanctions on Russia. As the chart to the left illustrates, the Russian ruble is in collapse against the dollar, its stock market is in sharp decline, tens of thousands of educated Russians are leaving the country, its sovereign debt has been sharply downgraded, foreign investment is nonexistent, and inflation is running at 8 percent with food shortages appearing.
In short, and despite the crush that some American conservatives have on the bare-chested one, Putin’s foreign-policy adventurism has proved a disaster for his country. And the supposedly “wimpy” Obama had a lot to do with it. The Russian leader underestimated the willingness of the West to respond to his aggression, and he is paying a high price for that error.
In an effort to criticize President Obama, Boehner once again comes off looking foolish when confronted with the actual truth. However, one feels Boehner knows what he is saying is complete and utter rubbish. Instead, he is just throwing out lies and propaganda as a way to defame Obama because right-wing voters demand it. It makes them feel better to believe that Obama is ‘weak’ and ‘over his head.’ Therefore, Boehner will gladly deliver that message to them, regardless if it is true or not.
H/T Steve Benen
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).