South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham advised President Barack Obama to stop threatening “thugs and dictators” like Russia’s Vladimir Putin on television, claiming that “everybody’s eyes roll” every time he does.
Graham spoke with CNN’s Candy Crowley on a panel including Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin. Crowley noted that Graham had been critical of Obama’s brief statement on the Russian invasion of southern Ukraine on Friday. “What more do you want from President Obama at this point?” the CNN host asked.
“Well number one, stop going on television and trying to threaten thugs and dictators,” Graham began. “It is not your strong suit. Every time the president goes on national television and threatens Putin — or anyone like Putin — everybody’s eyes roll, including mine. We have a weak and indecisive president that invites aggression.”
“President Obama needs to do something!” he continued. “How about this? Suspend Russian membership in the G-8, in the G-20, at least for a year, starting right now. And for every day they stay in the Crimea, add to the suspension. Do something!”
Durbin, of course, disagreed with Graham’s advice to the president. “You would expect the President of the United States to speak out against what Putin is trying to achieve here,” he began, adding that the “notion of taking them out of the G-8 has already been suggested by the administration — some members — and I think it’s the right thing to do.”
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