“There are some in the White House who may feel he went too far, but I think it was a helpful episode in showing the Chinese where his mind and heart were,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), citing “recent experience with another bully” in Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
“The president is taking a lesson from Ukraine that a stronger initial position could be necessary for deterrence,” he added. “The bullies of the world need to know we’re going to take a stand. And if they don’t hear that message with clarity, they may mistake it for weakness.”…
“He keeps saying this because this is what he believes. It’s his reaction when asked the question on the spot — that, yes, we’ll come to their defense,” Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) said in an interview. “The time for ambiguity is over … We need to say that, yes, if this happens this will be our intended response. That will better direct the decisions that are made.”
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