Tags: Barack Obama | Russia | Ukraine Revolution | CNN | GOP | Putin | Ukraine

CNN's Sally Kohn: GOP Is Siding With Putin

Monday, 03 Mar 2014 08:57 PM

By Jason Devaney

Are Republicans on Vladimir Putin’s side in the crisis in Ukraine? One CNN panelist thinks so.

During the network’s "Crossfire" program Monday, Sally Kohn had this to say about the GOP:

"Republicans are practically cheering for Vladimir Putin today. He’s given them a new excuse to bash President [Barack] Obama. Republicans are out in droves suggesting that if the president were not such a weak leader, Putin wouldn’t be threatening the Ukraine."

Russia imposed a deadline of 10 p.m. EST Monday for Ukrainian military forces to withdraw from their strongholds in Crimea. If they fail to pull out, Russia promised a "military storm."

Kohn debated her point with Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute.

"These aren’t games," Pletka said. "It’s always lovely to talk about domestic politics as if it’s somehow more important than the lives of the Ukrainian people or the Syrian people. Let me tell you, these are not games for the Republicans or the Democrats."

"I don’t think anyone’s saying this is a game at all," Kohn responded.

Kohn then said there used to be an agreement among politicians that "politics ended at the water’s edge. And instead of getting behind the president and together as a country uniting to deal with this crisis, Republicans are out there undermining the president’s leadership of the world."

"Rubbish," Pletka responded. "Absolutely not true. First of all, it never stopped at the water’s edge. If you recall, after the First World War, we didn’t join the League of Nations. No. 2, this is about national interests and about the security of the world. What we want to ensure is that Putin doesn’t view the Crimea the way Hitler viewed the Sudetenland, as a free ticket to do what he wants in his part of the world so that we don’t have to engage later on. A little bit of toughness."

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