- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 12, 2013

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s barely subtle message to America — that we are hardly exceptional — as relayed in an op-ed on The New York Times’ website has sparked some serious fire, including a reaction from a senator who said the piece nearly made him vomit.

Mr. Putin wrote the Wednesday op-ed in response to President Obama’s address to the nation on Syria, during which he said America’s motivation to act on behalf of ailing nations is “what makes us exceptional.”

Mr. Putin’s reply: “It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.”

Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, said he nearly vomited.

“I almost wanted to vomit,” he said, CNN reported. “I worry when someone who came up through the KGB tells us what is in our national interests, and what is not. It really raises the question of how serious the Russian proposal is.”

Social media posters, meanwhile, didn’t take kindly to the comments.

One posted on Twitter: “Hey Putin, next time you wanna write a letter to convince America about something, how about you skip saying we’re not exceptional? #rude”

And another: “Putin wrote his Times op-ed on an Underwood, shirtless, with hunting knife nearby.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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