The MAGA caucus may never support any Democrat, but some of their more reasonable GOP colleagues can’t help expressing their respect for President Joe Biden — especially in light of his surprise trip to Ukraine.
Biden earned praise from some top Republicans and their media counterparts, even as the usual extremists had the expected tantrums and raged in predictable attacks.
The praise came from legislators like Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC), former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, right-wing media figures like Geraldo Rivera and George Will, and even one conservative publication.
Throughout Biden’s presidency so far, there have been few issues on which the right and left could unite, but helping Ukraine defend its people against the Russian invasion has had significant bipartisan support, with a majority of Republicans and virtually all Democrats agreeing to send aid in the form of funding and military equipment.
Now, several are admitting that Biden’s trip is a powerful display of support.
Senator Graham called the trip “the right move at the right time,” also praising Vice President Kamala Harris for calling out Russia for war crimes.
Graham stands out as one Republican who has called for firm and decisive action against Russia throughout the crisis, even going to the extreme of suggesting someone should assassinate Vladimir Putin.
“For the visits and statements to matter to their fullest extent, decisive action must immediately follow,” Graham said. “We must designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism under U.S. law…we should start immediately training Ukrainian pilots and maintainers, and provide them the advanced fighter jets to not only win this war, but deter future aggression.”
Hutchinson, too, is known for being one of the more moderate in his party, and in a tweet (below) called the visit “a good moment for America,” and called on Republicans to “not waver in our support for those standing against oppression.”
Longtime conservative libertarian commentator George Will declared Biden’s visit to “seal commitment from America,” and said that all Americans should be proud.
“It was clear at the end of this first year that Russia would not win. It was not clear, however, that Ukraine’s allies would not choose to lose…by going to Ukraine, with the sirens wailing, in a war zone, the president has sealed an ironclad American commitment to see this through to the end. This is a terrible day for Vladimir Putin,” Will said, speaking on News Nation.
Pundit Geraldo Rivera’s position was also to praise Biden, in a short tweet reproduced below, simply saying, “Bravo Biden stand and deliver.”
Even right-wing publication The National Review found Biden’s actions impressive, reporting that it “took guts” to travel to a war zone where “neither the U.S. nor Ukraine has total control of the airspace” and Biden’t safety on the ground couldn’t be assured.
Biden kept up the powerful momentum with a speech to NATO allies in Poland, where he said, “I can report Kyiv stands strong. Kyiv stands proud. Kyiv stands tall. And most important, it stands free.”
You can view that full speech below.
President Biden’s visit to the heart of Ukraine is a good moment for America as we show bipartisan support for those in Ukraine fighting for freedom, democracy & their very lives. The GOP must not waver in our support for those standing against oppression.
— Gov. Asa Hutchinson (@AsaHutchinson) February 20, 2023
Bravo Biden stand and deliver
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) February 20, 2023
Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.