(CNSNews.com) – “I want to make a few observations about the president’s leadership with regard to national security and defense,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
“We witnessed last week the president basically watching the balloon go all across America. He had very little to say about it at the time, only a passing reference to the episode in the State of the Union.
“And if you look beyond, to the way the president deals with defense and foreign policy, you saw it was de-emphasized in the State of the Union — very little reference to this whole area that we’re confronting in Ukraine and, of course, with China.”
McConnell noted that Biden’s defense spending request last year was below inflation.
“We saw the withdrawal was a complete disaster from Afghanistan. On Ukraine, generally getting to the right position but not doing it soon enough, thereby making it more difficult for the Ukrainians to defend themselves.
“And no reference at all in the State of the Union to Iran, North Korea, or to the larger challenges from the PRC.
“So I think it is deeply disturbing that the president put all of his emphasis on things that were unrelated to the very serious threats that we’re all confronting here, not only in Ukraine, not only in Asia, but even with balloons flying over our skies.
“I think the American people deserve to hear more from the president on all of these issues, and hopefully, we will in the coming days.”
At the White House on Tuesday, a reporter asked if President Biden is “embarrassed” about sending U.S. fighter jets to shoot down objects that may be nothing more than weather balloons.
Spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said it’s possible that the three mysterious objects were benign, as weather balloons would be.
“I don’t think the President should be embarrassed — right? — by the fact that he took action to make sure that our air- — our airspace, civilian airspace, was safe,” Jean-Pierre said.
“The President took action because we did see that these — that these objects were in the airspace of — civilian airspace.
“And so, to protect the civilian airspace, the President took action. It is — and he took — he took recommendation by the Pentagon to take that action.
“I don’t want to get ahead of what this — what will be the final analysis — right? — of what the objects may have been or may not have been. So, don’t want to get into — into a hypothetical here.
“But, look, this is — the President does everything that he can, everything in his power — right? — to defend, to track, and to protect our airspace. And that’s what you should — that’s what you should glean from what the action — the actions that this President took.”
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