Republicans have turned Vladimir Putin’s invasion into a political opportunity for the party, claiming that Biden’s weakness is the reason Putin went forward with his war.
Some GOP candidates have even started fundraising off the Russian invasion. Erik Aadland, running for Congress in Colorado’s 7th District, quickly sent an email Wednesday night saying Putin was “walking all over Joe Biden just like China and Iran” and asking supporters to donate to his campaign to take the House back from Democrats.
Virginia state Sen. Bryce Reeves, also running for Congress, sent a similar email saying Putin invaded because America’s enemies “know that Joe Biden is weak and depends on the support of the Woke Democrats for his political survival.”
“Joe Biden’s weakness has helped bring the world to this point,” added Florida congressional candidate Brian Mast in his own fundraising pitch.
But as Faith Hillis, a professor of Russian history at the University of Chicago said, “What matters is that Putin denies a sovereign state’s right to exist and to make its own domestic and foreign policy. And he invaded completely unprovoked (and even without the staged provocation that many expected). This is akin to Hitler’s invasion of Poland. That’s it.”
Here are some of the GOP’s excuses for Putin’s deadly, provoked land grab:
‘Rigged’ 2020 Election
Leading the way, not surprisingly, has been former President Donald Trump, who is a longtime admirer of the Russian president and his grip on the country.
Trump has said Putin’s invasion was “pretty smart” and “savvy,” even claiming that the Russian leader was going into Ukraine to be a “peacekeeper.”
And of course, Trump hasn’t been able to resist the opportunity to tout his big lie that Democrats stole the presidential election from him through fraud. In an interview with Fox News on Wednesday night, Trump claimed that this whole situation in Ukraine is happening because of the 2020 outcome.
“He sees the weakness and stupidity of this administration,” Trump said of the Russian president. “As an American, I am angry and saddened. It happened because of a rigged election.”
Energy Policies, Afghanistan Withdrawal And Inflation
These three things don’t really seem related, but for Republicans, they all go together into one big reason why Putin invaded Ukraine.
“Putin is a thug, and he has been empowered and emboldened by Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan and his approval of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline while killing America’s Keystone XL pipeline,” Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) tweeted Thursday.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) also argued that Putin “knew that during President Trump, he could not do this.”
“They watched what happened in Afghanistan. They watched the debacle that took place there. ... They have watched Joe Biden as he’s made decisions like stopping the Keystone, ending drilling on federal land. Things that really hindered the U.S. and caused this inflation,” Blackburn said Thursday on Newsmax TV.
Biden has not ended drilling on federal land.
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) tweeted Wednesday that Biden’s “pathetic energy policies” are “essentially funding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by forcing Europe to rely on them for their energy needs.”
Putin Just Wants More Farmland
Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) ― the former football coach who didn’t know why the United States fought World War II ― told 1819 News this week that Putin was invading Ukraine simply to get more farmland.
“He can’t feed his people,” Tuberville said. “It’s a communist country, so he can’t feed his people, so they need more farmland.”
It’s hard to debunk something that’s just so off the mark, but there is absolutely no truth to this being the cause of the invasion. Russia has also not been “a communist country” for 30 years.