Biden ‘Doesn’t Know How to Use Leverage’ to Deter Putin: Rep. Bob Good


Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) criticized President Joe Biden for not effectively deterring Russia from invading Ukraine, saying the administration doesn’t know how to use leverage and doesn’t understand the first responsibility of the government is safety and security.

“This President doesn’t know how to use leverage, how to keep our enemies guessing what we might do, fearing what we might do,” Good told NTD’s “Capitol Report” on Feb. 25. NTD is the TV network of the Epoch Media Group.

He added that Biden’s sanctions “clearly” didn’t deter Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I’ll remind folks that the first senior administration official that this administration sent to meet with Moscow, to go to Russia was [Climate Envoy] John Kerry, the climate czar,” Good said. “How foolish, how feckless we look before nations like China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia when we project this kind of weakness and the things that we’re focused on.”

Kerry visited Moscow in July 2021. At the time, he was the highest-ranking White House official to visit Russia since Biden took office.

He told NPR during his visit that his talks with Russians were “exclusively” dedicated to climate change.

Kerry has been widely blasted for his recent interview with BBC Arabic before the outbreak of the Ukraine invasion. He said he was concerned that a war would distract the world from climate change while having massive emission consequences.

“I hope President Putin will help us to stay on track with respect to what we need to do for the climate,” Kerry said in the interview.

A State Department spokesperson later told MEMRI, “Secretary Kerry strongly condemns the unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces. On Monday prior to the attack, he was asked about the climate implications of a potential future conflict.”

Good went on to say that the Biden administration does not understand what the military is for, and the first responsibility of the government is safety and security. “We have an administration that thinks that the greatest threat to our country and to our military—the president himself even said—it’s climate. And then General [Mark] Milley and [Defense Secretary Lloyd] Austin has said it’s racism, white supremacy, nationalism, the rank,” said Good.

In a June 2021 speech, Biden talked about what he was told when he was the vice president, “This is not a joke: you know what the Joint Chiefs told us the greatest threat facing America was? Global warming.”

Good said, “They’re probably befuddled that the Russian troops are invading Ukraine without wearing COVID masks, maybe addled they haven’t discharged all of their military personnel who haven’t gotten the vaccine, or they don’t have enough diversity in the ranks.”

Epoch Times Photo
People gather in front of a damaged residential building at Koshytsa Street, a suburb of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, where a military shell allegedly hit, on Feb. 25, 2022. (Daniel Leal/AFP via Getty Images)

“This is an administration that does not understand what the purpose of our military is, and we are not feared or respected around the world,” said Good. “This American weakness is demonstrably dangerous, not just to America, not just to the world generally, but to Europe specifically.”

Good said it’s “interesting” that Russia did not invade Ukraine during the four years of the Trump administration.

Good also predicted that Russia’s invasion would certainly affect the U.S. economy.

“This President has diminished our ability to be energy independent. He’s diminished our own production of our own fuel, our own energy,” said Good. “And so he has increased Russia’s influence in Europe and their production around the world.

“There are countries that are more dependent on Russia for vital energy, and as Russia supplies are depleted, you’re going to see a greater impact on the cost of oil around the world.

“The demand will go up, and the supply will go down. And you’re going to see further pressure on our gas prices, on our fuel prices, on our heating prices. And it’s going to hurt our economy even more,” said Good.

During a Feb. 24 press conference, Biden defended his Russia policy, saying the sanctions he imposed were “profound” and “exceed anything that’s ever been done.”

“The threat of the sanctions and imposing the sanctions and seeing the effect of the sanctions are two different things,” said Biden, adding it would take time for the sanctions to have an effect. “He’s going to begin to see the effect of the sanctions,” Biden said.

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