On Saturday, while delivering a speech in Poland, attempting to rally NATO allies to stand against the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Joe Biden called for regime change in Russia.
“A dictator, bent on rebuilding an empire, will never erase the people’s love for liberty, Biden said of his Russian counterpart, Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia, for free people refuse to live in a world of hopelessness and darkness.”
“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” Biden said.
Throughout the crisis in Ukraine, Biden has lobbed insults at Putin, calling him a “murderous dictator” and a “war criminal,” but has never previously called for Putin’s removal from power unlike other prominent politicians.
A White House official has since attempted to walk-back the president’s statements saying that Biden “was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change, but was instead insisting that Putin “cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors in the region,” CNBC reported.
This is the second high-profile, alleged gaffe that Biden had made while on this European excursion.
On Friday, Biden told US troops who were stationed in Poland that they would witness the bravery of the Ukrainian people “when you’re there,” explicitly insinuating that American troops would be deployed to Ukraine.
The New York Post reported that Biden said, “You’re going to see when you’re there, and some of you have been there, you’re gonna see — you’re gonna see women, young people standing in the middle in front of a dammed tank just saying, ‘I’m not leaving, I’m holding my ground.’”
The White House quickly clarified that Biden was mistaken and that the president was not, in fact, changing his stance on deploying the military into Ukraine.
During his Saturday address, Biden reiterated his belief that the only thing that will get Russian leadership to cease its invasion is by instituting debilitating sanctions on the Russian economy.
Per the New York Times, Biden said, “Swift and punishing costs is the only thing that will get Russia to change course.”
Biden also suggested that the invasion has been a failure for Russia, saying: "This war has already been a strategic failure for Russia. Having lost children, myself, I know that’s no solace to people who’ve lost family.”
Biden also indicated that the West does not find fault with, or hold responsible, the Russian populace, despite implementing sanctions that are devastating their way quality of life.
He said, “This is not the future you deserve for your families and children. I’m telling you the truth, this war is not worthy of you, the Russian people.”