New York Times columnist David Brooks claimed President Barack Obama has a “manhood problem” internationally, with observers particularly in the Middle East viewing him as weak and indecisive on issues such as the civil war in Syria and the Ukraine-Russia standoff.
Brooks made the claim on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” responding to assertions made by NBC reporter Chuck Todd that the ongoing crisis in Ukraine will affect what other adversaries of the United States believe they can get away with.
“Basically, we’ve also had an assumption that borders are basically going to be borders,” Brooks said. “And once that comes into question — as in Ukraine, Crimea or anywhere else…”
“All bets are off,” Todd offered.
“All bets are off,” Brooks agreed. “And let’s face it. Obama, whether deservedly or not, does have a — I’ll say it crudely, but a manhood problem in the Middle East. Is he tough enough to stand up to somebody like Assad, somebody like Putin?”
“I think a lot of the rap is unfair,” he added. “But certainly in the Middle East, the assumption is he’s not tough enough.”
Todd agreed, saying many even within the administration believe Obama’s “rhetoric” is not “alpha-dog enough.”
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