- The Washington Times - Monday, March 3, 2014

The GOP has a message for Secretary of State John Kerry, and it’s not a kind one: Your penchant for all talk, no action, is making the United States look weak on the Ukraine situation.

The same goes for President Obama, key Republicans said.

Mr. Kerry is due to visit Kiev on Monday evening for talks with Ukrainian officials.

But House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said the White House’s ongoing response to the entire situation only gives Mr. Putin the upper hand.

“[Putin’s] running circles around us,” Mr. Rogers said, during a “Fox News Sunday” appearance reported by the New York Post. “Putin is playing chess and I think we are playing marbles, and I don’t think it’s even close.”

He said the Obama administration ought to take strong action and boot Russia from the G8. Meanwhile, Congress could start drumming up some sanctions against Russia, he suggested, the New York Post reported.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, also Sunday, issued some criticism of his own against the Obama administration: “Every time the president goes on national television and threatens Putin or anyone like Putin, everyone’s eyes roll, including mine. We have a weak and indecisive president that invites aggression.”

The criticism comes as Mr. Kerry made the rounds of talk shows on Sunday to issue scathing statements about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s movement of military into the Crimean peninsula.

He blasted Mr. Putin’s “brazen act of aggression,” and vowed “very serious repercussions,” while pretty much taking off the table any entrance of U.S. military into the region, the New York Post reported.

“This is a time for diplomacy,” Mr. Kerry said, on ABC’s “This Week” talk show. “And we will engage diplomatically as much as we can in order to steer this away from an increase in the tension in the level of the crisis.”



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

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