An indecisive and unfocused White House must get tough with Russia's aggression toward Ukraine by ending its promise to reduce production of nuclear weapons, says Jim DeMint, president of the Heritage Foundation.
"A couple of years ago, we signed a very unwise arms reduction treaty with Russia called the START Treaty. I tried to stop it. It made no sense. The Russians aren't trustworthy," DeMint told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"We need to extend a notice to Putin right away that this treaty is over, that we're no longer going to reduce our weapons when he wasn't reducing his anyway.
"We also need to support the Ukrainian people in developing freedom and free-enterprise concepts. That's something that's been woefully lacking over the last few years," he said Tuesday.
DeMint — a former U.S. senator from South Carolina and author of the
new book "Falling in Love with America Again,"
published by Center Street — says President Barack Obama is being played by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"We've had foreign leaders come through Heritage the last year and one after another [say] that America's indecisiveness, lack of commitment . . . lack of focus, perception of weakness, has created instability all around the world," DeMint said.
"Russia's been dabbling in the Ukraine for years and destabilizing that country, pushing the elections, folks that the people don't support. And what we're seeing now is Russians just continuing to make bold moves because they don't believe President Obama and America will stand by its allies."
DeMint's group, which is heavily associated with tea party activists, has been blamed by some for divisions in the Republican Party, particularly in its opposition to the Affordable Care Act.
But DeMint says the GOP should stand proud in fighting the healthcare law.
"Republicans should be proudly saying we did everything we could to stop Obamacare from being implemented," he said.
"I'm very proud that we did everything we could to make Americans aware of just how bad this law was, how much it would hurt people.
"And that we did everything we could to encourage the Congress not to fund the implementation, to force a delay of the implementation so Americans would have time with the next election to send a different signal."
DeMint says that yet another tweak of the ACA by the White House — which would allow people to keep their healthcare coverage even if it doesn't meet federal requirements — is strictly a political move.
"The president knows if his law is fully implemented right now, every Democrat who voted for it would be voted out of office. So, he continues to delay," DeMint said.
"He's going to keep delaying so that the American people don't have time to figure out how bad this is before it's too late to go back.
"Because you're going to see insurance companies leave the business, you're going to see employers drop coverage, and then, in the next year or so, when everyone's saying we don't want Obamacare, the president's going to be saying, 'well, there's nowhere else to go but a single-payer system.'"
DeMint says lawmakers still could put a stop to Obamacare.
"It's not too late for the Congress to come together and turn this whole thing off at least for a year," DeMint said.
"Just turn the whole thing off and give us a chance to replace it with ideas that are based on doctor-patient relationship and real decision-making by doctors and patients. This is a disaster."
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