Joe Biden is an incompetent fool. When he was Vice President, officials in the Obama White House would excuse his comments by saying, “that’s just Joe.” As President of the United States, however, Mr. Biden’s gaffes have much larger consequences around the world.
Last Saturday, during a speech in front of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland, Mr. Biden appeared to call for regime change in Russia when he said, “for God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.” The White House quickly denied that he was calling for regime change. One administration official said, “The President’s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region. He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia or regime change.” Actually, that is exactly what he said.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken quickly moved to affirm that the United States has no plans for regime change in Moscow. The U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Julianne Smith, had to further the clean-up on Sunday by saying that “the U.S. does not have a policy of regime change in Russia, full stop.”
Yet on Monday, Mr. Biden said that he was “not walking anything back.” He said, “I want to make it clear: I wasn’t then, nor am I now, articulating a policy change. I was expressing moral outrage, and I make no apologies for it.”
Confusion over regime change was one of many gaffes made by Mr. Biden last week. On Friday, he spoke to members of the 82nd Airborne Division in Poland. During his comments, he referred to the people of Ukraine and said that they “have a lot of backbone.”
Mr. Biden went on to tell the U.S. service members in Poland, “And you’re going to see when you’re there. And some of you have been there.” Sure sounds like he is signaling that they will be in Ukraine in the future.
A White House spokesman had to clarify the remark: “The President has been clear we are not sending U.S. troops to Ukraine, and there is no change in that position.” His comments were not clear, which is why the White House had to issue a statement to clarify his remarks.
Earlier in the week, Mr. Biden was asked if the United States would respond if Russia were to use chemical weapons as part of its invasion of Ukraine. He said that such a move would “trigger a response in kind.”
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan had to clean up the mess: “We will collect the form and nature of our response based on the nature of the action Russia takes. And we’ll do so in coordination with our allies. And I won’t go beyond that other than to say the United States has no intention of using chemical weapons, period, under any circumstances.” Unlike Mr. Biden, Mr. Sullivan seemed crystal clear.
On Monday of this week, the Commander of the U.S. European Command and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Tod Wolters testified during a Senate Armed Services Committee meeting that the United States was not training Ukrainian troops in Poland.
Yet on the same day, Mr. Biden claimed during a White House press briefing that American forces were actively training Ukrainian troops for battle. He was trying to clean up his blunder in Poland, in which he implied that American troops were headed to Ukraine. Mr. Biden said: “We’re talking about helping train the Ukrainian troops that are in Poland.” Pressed on the matter, he said, “I was referring to being with, and talking with, the Ukrainian troops in Poland.
In yet another attempt to clean up for Mr. Biden, the White House released a statement about his remarks on Monday that said, “There are Ukrainian soldiers in Poland interacting on a regular basis with U.S. troops, and that’s what the president was referring to.” National Security Advisor Sullivan said: “We do not have U.S. troops currently training Ukrainians. We do not have U.S. troops on the territory of Ukraine.”
During his testimony, General Wolters responded to a question from United States Senator Tom Cotton: “I do not believe we are in the process of currently training military forces from Ukraine in Poland.” On Monday, the same day that President Biden gave his White House press briefing, he tried to clarify his comments at the 82nd Airborne Division by referring “to being with, and talking with, the Ukrainian troops in Poland.”
These are not the gaffes of an aging U.S. senator or an insignificant Vice President. These blunders come from the mouth of the Commander-in-Chief of the most significant superpower in the world. Mr. Biden is either horribly confused or boldly lying. Either is far worse than a misstatement.
Many of us tried to warn America. Now we, and the rest of the world, know the truth. Joe Biden is an incompetent fool.
• Scott Walker is the president of Young America’s Foundation and served as the 45th governor of Wisconsin from 2011 to 2019.