McCain: Obama Doesn't Appreciate 'American Leadership' Role

Tuesday, 22 Apr 2014 01:01 PM

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As Russian troops continue to mass along Ukraine's border, President Barack Obama hesitates in stepping up assistance for the embattled country because he doesn't appreciate America's leadership in the world, Sen. John McCain said.

President Obama "does not appreciate, in my view, the importance of American leadership. That we are an exceptional nation," the Arizona Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Tuesday.

Leadership does not mean that Americans "fight every war," McCain said. It does mean "peace through strength" to assist "people who were struggling for freedom."

Story continues below video.



Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

McCain said it is time for the United States to act to stave off further aggression from Russian President Vladimir Putin. He indicated there were a number of options available to assist Ukraine, short of sending in American troops.

"There are some sanctions that we can impose, which would give the Europeans a choice. If we sanction some of their financial institutions, they might have to decide whether they're going to do business with Russia or do business with us. There's a lot of things we can do," he said.

In addition, McCain suggested providing Ukrainians with the defensive weapons they have been "begging for," assisting them with integration into the European Union, and helping them secure loans from the International Monetary Fund.

The problems in Ukraine are spilling over into nearby countries, including Moldova and the Baltic states, McCain said. He said he just returned from a trip there and described the atmosphere as one of uncertainty.

"I'm not using the word afraid. But I will use the word extremely nervous about what Putin's going to do. And, more than that, what we're going to do," he said.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

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