As conflict with Russia grows, a series of past statements from President Joe Biden are making their rounds on social media.
Specifically, people are highlighting his previous willingness and sometimes eagerness to go “toe-to-toe” with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Before that, he was critical of other politician’s who spoke about Russia being a very serious threat to America.
In the middle of the 2012 presidential election, then-Vice President Biden criticized Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s “foreign and security policy,” claiming Romney’s vision “is through the glass of a rearview mirror.”
Vice President Biden: “Gov. Romney’s foreign and security policy would return us to the past we have worked so hard to move beyond.”
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 26, 2012
VP Biden: “To the extent Governor Romney has shown any foreign policy vision, it is through the glass of a rearview mirror.”
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 26, 2012
Romney was largely outspoken against Russia, calling them “without question” America’s “number one geopolitical foe” while on CNN in 2012. “They fight every cause for the world’s worst actors.”
Despite Romney’s warning, Biden said Romney’s “Cold War mentality is out of date.” (RELATED: US Official: Ukraine Crisis ‘Is The Most Significant Military Mobilization In Europe Since The Second World War’)
During the presidential debates in October of that year, former President Barack Obama challenged Romney’s statement.
“When you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not al-Qaida. You said Russia,” Obama said. “the 1980s, they’re now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”
Biden later said the debate “exposed” that Romney was out of touch.
“These debates have exposed that Gov. Romney and Paul Ryan have a foreign policy right out of the ’80s, a social policy out of the ’50s.”
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 24, 2012
Biden also promised in 2019 that when he becomes president, he would end Putin’s “days of tyranny and trying to intimidate the United States and those in Eastern Europe.”
After Russia invaded two regions in Ukraine Monday, many Democrats are agreeing Romney was right — if they didn’t already admit he was right.
“This action by Putin further confirms that Mitt Romney was right when he called Russia the number one geopolitical foe,” Democratic California Rep. Ted Lieu said Monday night on CNN.
A Biden tweet from Feb. 21, 2020, also resurfaced Monday.
Biden said Putin didn’t want Biden to be the Democratic nominee because he’s “the only person in this field who’s ever gone toe-to-toe with him.”
Exactly two years later, Putin recognized the independence of two Ukrainian regions, Donetsk and Luhansk, with CBS News tweeting the move signaled Putin is “no longer interested in negotiating with the West to find a diplomatic resolution.”
Putin signed two decrees ordering Russia’s armed forces to enter the territories for “peacekeeping functions.”
Biden’s administration initially appeared reluctant to call Putin’s military moves Monday an “invasion.” One senior administration official said Monday that “Russian troops moving into Donbas would not itself be a new step” and that Russia “has had forces in the Donbas region for the past eight years.”
Many Republicans and some Democrats called on Biden to sanction Russia more fiercely Monday. Later, Deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer said “an invasion is an invasion and that is what is underway.”
Biden later echoed a similar sentiment, saying Tuesday afternoon that a “first tranche of sanctions” against Russia would be forthcoming following “the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.”
The State Department also ordered its personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine to evacuate to Poland Monday night “for security reasons.” Biden has promised to not let Russia bully the U.S. or other European nations.