President Obama’s administration is taking particular umbrage with a GOP criticism linking the situation in Ukraine to the United States' response to the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.
White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said Tuesday the criticism made by Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamKerry: US 'on the verge' of suspending talks with Russia on Syria GOP leaders express reservations a day after 9/11 veto override McConnell opens door to changing 9/11 bill MORE (R-S.C.) “jumped the shark.”
GOP criticism of Pres Obama jumped the shark today when they started saying Benghazi is one of the reasons for what is happening in Crimea— Dan Pfeiffer (@pfeiffer44) March 4, 2014
Former White House adviser David Plouffe said Tuesday the GOP criticism of President Obama amid Russian forces entering Ukraine is "nuts."
Plouffe quoted a line from former President George W. Bush in which he urged the country to speak with one voice on foreign policy.
GWBush on the USS Cole, weeks before Election. "It's time for our nation to speak with one voice." GOP now - Crimea due to Benghazi. Nuts.— David Plouffe (@davidplouffe) March 4, 2014
Graham sent out a string of tweets Tuesday claiming the lack of response by the United States after the deadly attacks that killed four Americans invited aggression. This is what happens, he said, when Americans are killed and no one is held responsible. He added U.S. policy in Syria and Egypt has also proved Obama is a “weak indecisive leader.”
A number of Republicans, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), have been critical of the president as Russian troops took over the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine. They say U.S. foreign policy under Obama has emboldened Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The world is NEVER in a better place when you have a weak, indecisive American president. And Russia is a symptom of that weakness.— Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) March 4, 2014
It started with Benghazi. When you kill Americans and nobody pays a price, you invite this type of aggression. #Ukraine— Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) March 4, 2014
Putin basically came to the conclusion after Benghazi, Syria, Egypt - everything Obama has been engaged in - he's a weak indecisive leader.— Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) March 4, 2014
I think Putin believes Obama is really all talk and no action. And unless we push back soon, the worse is yet to come.— Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) March 4, 2014
The White House has pushed back hard on the idea that Russia’s actions in Ukraine are coming from a place of strength.
“I actually think that this has not been a sign of strength but rather is a reflection that countries near Russia have deep concerns and suspicions about this kind of meddling, and if anything, it will push many countries further away from Russia,” Obama said Tuesday.
—Updated 4:35 p.m.