Biden a bystander on Ukraine, energy and inflation crises

Biden defends energy policies despite ongoing criticism

Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy has the latest on the president banning Russian oil imports on ‘Special Report.’

The Ukraine crisis may be a story of Russian aggression, but the preamble is the Biden administration’s total failure to strengthen America industrially and economically, rally the West, bolster NATO, and deter Vladimir Putin.

Weeks of sanction threats didn’t stop Putin. Rather, President Biden’s teleprompter sermons provided time for the amassing of offensive forces on the Ukraine border.

I attended the Munich Security Conference in late February, along with a bipartisan array of my House and Senate colleagues. The administration was there, too, but provided nothing close to definitive policy. The clearest statements they made publicly or privately were that if you are an American citizen in Ukraine and find yourself trapped in a war zone, well, you’re on your own.

The culmination of this White House’s missteps: A 65-minute phone call between Biden and Putin. Less than two weeks later, Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine and the killing began.

Biden’s response? A lot of words. Some at high volume. Others at a low whisper. But the out-loud contemplation of sanctions is a poor substitute for leading the nation and world.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and UVice President Kamala Harris applaud during President Biden’s State of the Union address at the Capitol on March 1, 2022.
(Saul Loeb/AFP/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Many thought the State of the Union Address would be different. It wasn’t. It was empty cheerleading. Take Biden’s full-throated assurance that Putin “will never gain the hearts and souls of the Iranian people.”

We know he meant to say “Ukrainian” people. But the statement makes no more sense with the correction. Who can possibly think at this point that Putin is trying to win the hearts and minds of the Ukrainian people? He’s trying to take their country and their freedom.

I’ve attended 17 State of the Union addresses. I’ve never seen one that was followed by less action from a White House. It’s now been seven days since Biden’s national address. No legislation. No Cabinet-level Hill consultation. No bipartisan White House gathering.

The Biden administration had already plunged this country into an energy crisis before Putin mobilized soldiers for this invasion of Ukraine.

This brings us to Tuesday’s announcement by President Biden to restrict Russian energy imports weeks after my colleagues and I urged him to do so. The policy move is fine, but his remarks were defensive, divisive and, quite frankly, dishonest.

He did not in any way advance the national interest or our international standing. And it is simply not true – as he said – that this administration is doing all it can to lessen the pain that Americans are feeling at the pump, from their utility bills, and in their inflation-battered pocketbooks.

It’s dishonest for the White House to link the inflation its policies skyrocketed – and the gas prices it drove up just as fast – to the crisis in Ukraine. This is a naked attempt to offload its failures onto what it hopes will be a sharing of blame with others.

The truth is, the Biden administration had already plunged this country into an energy crisis before Putin mobilized soldiers for this invasion of Ukraine. From his first days in office, President Biden stopped energy infrastructure and sent an unmistakable message to the energy industry: no to pipelines, no to drilling, no to the financing of oil and gas projects. This was a stunning reversal of the energy independence policies that were working when he took office as oil production exceeded consumption for most of 2019 and 2020.

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