ORLANDO, Fla. – Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., blasted President Joe Biden over his response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s deadly invasion of Ukraine, saying Biden must “demonstrate resolve” and step up in order to help the country fight back.
During an interview with Fox News Digital at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Hagerty said Putin will only respond to “people that show a spine” and stand up to the authoritarian leader, which the U.S. is unfortunately not doing at the moment under Biden’s leadership, he said.
“I think the thing that will be most potent to stopping the advance right now will be people that show a spine, [such as] people like [Ukrainian] President Zelenskyy is [doing]. The folks that show resolve. We’re going to [have to] increase the cost to Putin of moving against Kyiv and against the entirety of Ukraine.”
He added, “It’s very regrettable the way we got here, and I think American weakness has been a big part of the situation. We created a void, particularly after Afghanistan. I think Putin saw an opportunity and weakness.”
The Tennessee senator said that the U.S. has taken a very “myopic” and “short-sighted” stance on green energy, which he said has “killed the oil and gas industry” and driven up energy prices across the world.
“The biggest beneficiary of this is Vladimir Putin, who is actually using those funds to build his war machine that he is deploying on Ukraine,” Hagerty told Fox News Digital.
“It’s very sad. But right now what we need to be doing is supporting Ukraine and fighting back.”
In response to a question about how America’s adversaries are viewing the U.S. response against Russia, Hagerty said it shows Biden’s “lack of resolve.”
“The whole world is looking at how Putin is able to negotiate this, and what he’s able to get away with,” said Hagerty. “We have authoritarians around the world, and they take this, and they see it as an opportunity because, again, lack of resolve. What we need to do right now? We need to demonstrate resolve and the best thing we could do right now is re-open the Keystone XL Pipeline, start drilling again in America, make ourselves energy independent [and] lower the price of global energy — that would take a lot of the air out of the sails of Vladimir Putin.”
“It would also demonstrate our resolve to make America stronger again, put us in the position of being able to go to the aid of our allies who are being choked off using gas as a geopolitical weapon, the way Putin is doing,” continued Hagerty. “That would empower America to come to the aid of our allies again.”
“Inflation is through the roof, and a big portion of that is due to the energy crisis.”
“What Biden has done is kowtow to the far-left wing of his party, using these naive green energy positions that put us in a terrible position, from a strategic standpoint in respect to our allies and with our own local economy. Inflation is through the roof, and a big portion of that is due to the energy crisis.”
Hagerty also criticized Biden over the timing of his announcement of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, which happened just hours after Russia started its multi-front invasion of Ukraine.
Hagerty called the timing of Biden’s Supreme Court nominee “regrettable,” due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
“The timing, I think, is regrettable because the focus of America right now, the focus of the world, is on something much larger from the geopolitical standpoint. But again, this administration manages by press release more than they do by strategic competence.”
The senator said he would give the nomination “every consideration” and that a good Supreme Court justice should interpret the Constitution as it is written.
“I will give this nomination every consideration,” said Hagerty. “What I’m looking for is someone who actually interprets the Constitution as it is written, not as they think it ought to be written. Someone who will not legislate from the bench. So I will take a very careful eye in terms of the experience and track record of the nominee [that Biden has] put forward.”
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