Newsmax CEO and President Christopher Ruddy on Wednesday separated himself from other conservatives by saying President Joe Biden deserves an “A” for his current response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but some security experts disagree with his views.
The conservative media CEO applauded Biden for signing the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act into law on Monday. The legislation revives the World War II-era program allowing the United States to deliver weapons to Ukraine more quickly.
“Today, Putin appears shocked by the U.S. response,” Ruddy wrote in an editorial more than two months after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his forces to invade Ukraine.
“Since the opening stages of the war, Biden’s response has been strong and measured,” he claimed.
He said that Biden is helping Ukraine “in every indirect way.”
Some national security experts have been critical of the president’s response to the crisis.
“In the Kremlin’s eyes the West is out to get Russia. It was unspoken before. Now it’s spoken,” Sean Monaghan, European expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Foreign Policy after Biden urged Congress to send $33 billion to Ukraine.
“If you combine this with Biden’s comments, at his summit in Poland [in March] that ‘this man [Putin] cannot remain in power,’ all that turns this, a territorial war, into a wider confrontation and might make negotiating a settlement to end the war in Ukraine far more difficult or even impossible at the present,” Monaghan explained. The White House later claimed Biden was not calling for a regime change in the Kremlin.
The House ultimately passed a $40 billion aid package.
“This is a small payment for our security and freedom. Acting strong now could help prevent a larger war,” Ruddy said in his editorial.
Former CIA chief of Russia analysis George Beebe told FP that the Biden administration seemed to risk forgetting that “the most important national interest that the United States has is avoiding a nuclear conflict with Russia.”
“The Russians have the ability to make sure everyone else loses if they lose too. And that may be where we’re heading. It’s a dangerous corner to turn,” Beebe noted.
Ruddy’s opinion splits from many conservatives who have voiced outrage over the $40 billion aid package to Ukraine.
“Biden is more concerned with sending billions of $ to Ukraine than he is about baby formula shortages here in the United States,” Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) tweeted.
“Biden wants to spend $40B for Ukraine and $10B more on covid,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) posted on Twitter. “Meanwhile, American mother’s [sic] can’t buy baby formula. Record amounts of fentanyl is coming across the border and is #1 cause of death in young Americans. And out of control inflation & fuel is hurting everyone.”
Conservative commentator Tucker Carlson told viewers, “I can’t think of a bigger middle finger to Republican voters than what happened last night,” the day after the bill passed.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll last week showed 42% of Americans approve of how Biden is handling the crisis in Ukraine, while 47% disapprove. This is, however, an increase from when Russia first invaded, when 33% of Americans approved of how Biden was responding to the crisis.