Beckel: Obama Critics Don't Have Answers Either on Dealing With Putin
Tuesday morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the annexation of Crimea and mocked the sanctions President Obama brought against Russian officials.
In a speech to parliament, Putin accused the West of sidestepping international law and being guided by rule of the gun. He said, “They have come to believe in their exceptionalism and their sense of being the chosen ones. That they can decide the destinies of the world, that it is only them who can be right.”
On America’s Newsroom, Martha MacCallum pointed out the irony of Putin’s statements. She noted that President Obama has said the Ukraine crisis can be handled through diplomacy and that Russia has violated international law by intervening in Crimea.
Former President Bill Clinton recently said about his own dealings with Putin and other leaders with whom he had differences, “It was best to be brutal with them in private and be honest because they respected you if you were.”
Bob Beckel defended President Obama, saying that President Clinton didn’t face the same problems with Russia.
“We had the right-wing Washington Times jumping all over him, Charles Krauthammer – who has never had a good thing to say about Obama his entire career – and John McCain. The fact is I’m not sure what any of them would do. Would they have us invade Ukraine? Should we get Crimea back using military force?” he said.
Tucker Carlson responded, “I don’t think any sober person is suggesting military response. Russia has real interests in Ukraine and just because they annex Crimea doesn’t mean they’re going to invade Belgium. The problem is you don’t want to devalue America’s authority and that’s what the president has done by his hollow threats.”
Beckel said that Russia has had its eyes on Crimea since it lost the region. Carlson disputed Beckel’s argument, saying that it contradicts the Obama administration’s stance that Russia needs to remove its troops and let Ukraine decide its own future.
“I think maybe you could argue that Obama should not lay down these stark lines,” Beckel said, “On the other hand, I would argue that nobody … among his critics has an answer.”
Watch the debate above, and for more from Bob, tune in to The Five, today at 5p ET as the hosts take on the latest on the Ukraine crisis.
Read more of the latest analysis on the sanctions: