WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Sen. John McCain led several Republicans in continued criticism of President Barack Obama for what they view as a “feckless” foreign policy that demonstrates U.S. weakness to the international community as a whole, and Russia directly.
The Republican senator bashed Obama for a lack of understanding and strength in dealing with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and noted that Obama had mocked 2012 Republican candidate for president, Mitt Romney, for labeling Russia “our number one geopolitical foe,” during Romney’s own failed bid for office.
“The fundamental problem is that this president doesn’t understand [Russian President] Vladimir Putin,” McCain said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “He does not understand his ambitions. He does not understand that Vladimir Putin is an old KGB colonel bent on restoration of the Soviet empire. …This president has never understood it.”
McCain pointed out his own foresight on the Ukrainian uprising from a 2008 foreign policy debate with Obama: “Watch Ukraine — This whole thing has got a lot do to Ukraine, Crimea, the base of the Russian fleet in Sevastopol.”
“This president believes the cold war was over,” McCain said. “Vladimir Putin doesn’t believe the cold war is over.”
McCain has continued his criticism of Obama’s foreign policy as a whole, tying the Russian, Ukrainian standoff to the president’s policies in the Middle East.
“What happens in Ukraine is directly related to what happens in the Middle East, and obviously, we know that what happens in the Middle East is vital to the existence to the state of Israel,” said McCain.
McCain has joined several other Republicans labeling the president’s foreign policy as weak.
On Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham told CNN, “We have a weak and indecisive president that invites aggression.” Graham also tied Obama’s foreign policy fumbles to separate incidents, notably the 2012 Libyan embassy attack that left four Americans dead.
“It started with Benghazi,” Graham said. “When you kill Americans and nobody pays a price, you invite this type of aggression. I think Putin believes Obama is really all talk and no action. And unless we push back soon, the worse is yet to come.”
Rep. Mike Rogers also ridiculed Obama’s foreign policy, telling “Fox News Sunday” that Russia “is playing chess” while the U.S. is “playing marbles.”