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Did Obama underestimate Putin?
March 4th, 2014
05:29 PM ET

Did Obama underestimate Putin?

Despite talks between ministers from both sides, a key Ukrainian figure offered little indication Tuesday that there's been movement away from the brink of war threatening to embroil his Eastern European nation. FULL STORY

At 6:30pm ET on Crossfire: Former Presidential candidate Howard Dean and former Deputy Secretary of State Paul Wolfowitz join S.E. Cupp and Van Jones to debate the crisis in Ukraine.

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We want you to weigh in: Is President Obama underestimating Vladimir Putin?

Vote by tweeting Yes or No using #Crossfire or comment on our Facebook post. View results below or through our Poptip results page.

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Filed under: Fireback • Foreign policy • Howard Dean • In the Crossfire • Obama • Paul Wolfowitz • Putin • Russia • S.E. Cupp • Ukraine • Van Jones
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Louis Vuitton Outlet

    Did Obama underestimate Putin? – Crossfire – Blogs
    Louis Vuitton Outlet

    July 2, 2014 at 4:54 am | Reply
  2. Cam

    Stop with the war rhetoric................both political parties.

    March 6, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  3. Simon

    The French and Brits and America courted Gadaffi....

    He would not sign their oil deals..... uk/news/article-2113910/Colonel-Gaddafi-gave-French-President-Nicolas-Sarkozy-42MILLION-fund-2007-election-campaign.html

    And then....

    And then...

    And then....

    And then...

    Just if there is a possibility in the unrest of protestors of a return of the Gadaffi bloodline America France and Britain have another Gadaffi son returned by Niger who is given a colonial sweetner knowing that the I.C.C had been ignored over pleas to have the other Gadaffi tried before real courts. They will both be murdered.

    Hey presto this is how international law works!

    March 6, 2014 at 6:43 am | Reply
  4. Simonzee

    Of course he did. Now the irony here is that tokinism Kerry has given 1 billion to the Ukraine which will be given staight to Russia to pay a pittance of their gas bill. Just as I said Obama will export gas for political leverage and Americans gas prices will go through the roof. That will apply to Australia as well as the administration stands over these big American and Australian companies.

    Do you see the lose lose scenario for the average Joe as these idiots play their cold war games. Mwanwhile China and other countries get the cheap gas. Russia should have been seen as an equal partner long ago but Obama screwed them over in Libya with the French and Brits and they are committed to creating Russia as the big bad, "other."

    Meanwhile in Libya just as I predicted in an email to Cameron at number 10 other countries would follow the coup model in the Ukraine. Within 12 hrs of my email protestors stormed the Libyan Congress and shot two MP's. They had to shift Congress for their lives just as the President of the Ukraine had to fearing for his life. You won't hear that broadcast in Western media/propaganda.!

    What a bunch of Western Wombats committed to cold war games.

    March 5, 2014 at 10:18 pm | Reply
    • kurt

      Again, the idea that somehow the aid for the Ukraine possibly going to Russia means that Russia is winning this is foolish.

      Russia spent 51 billion dollars on the Olympics as a way to make them look good to the international community. That investment is now wasted. Even if that money did go straight to Russia (which would be difficult to prove), it won't somehow make up for that. Especially if the EU and US impose economic sanctions on Russia as well. Even if they somehow end up annexing all of the Ukraine, it wouldn't make up for the lost finances those economic sanctions would have.

      Russia is still using a mindset that military force can somehow win the day for them. In today's world, it's about economics. Economic weapons are what determine winners and losers today. Russia could have "won" all they wanted easily by using the weapon of natural gas prices for the Ukraine. Nobody would have objected and they could have achieved all their goals. Instead... while they still might achieve their goals the cost will by a thousand times higher for them. The cost might send them into another economic recession.

      March 6, 2014 at 8:37 am | Reply
  5. dave

    No ballsBarry? He'll just draw another shifting line.

    March 5, 2014 at 8:38 pm | Reply
  6. kurt

    No, he overestimated Putin.

    Putin could have gotten pretty much whatever he wanted from the Ukraine simply by using economic pressures. Their gas agreement was coiming up for renegotiation later this year. If Russia had demanded market value (rather then the huge discount they give the Ukraine now), then Kiev would crumble. They could have gotten nearly any concession they wanted.

    Obama assumed Putin would use that tactic. It wouldn't have hurt Russia at all in the international community, and would have gotten them everything they wanted. And frankly, we could care less about the Ukraine.

    But instead, Putin invades, loses all the good will that his 51 billion dollar investment in the olympics may have brought and pisses off the US, Europe and frightens other former soviet block countries who were already wary of Russia.

    In all ways it's a move full of bravado and machismo (or as those in these comments would say... a "strong leader" move) that lacks logic, reasoning or intelligence. It makes little to no sense.

    Obama has failed to recognize that others don't always work in their own best interest before. It's one of his weaknesses... he thinks people will do what is logically best for them instead of ego-based moves that hurt them in the long run.

    March 5, 2014 at 10:11 am | Reply
  7. june fitzgerald

    All those beer bottles they found in the Square today (that they've been using for molotov cocktails after drinking the beer) who supplied them? Whose idea was the protest in the first place? Somebody must have started it and somebody's feeding them still. Does the current regime have anything to do with it? Are they planning to stay until the current regime is elected? Not that it was a violent coup or anything...

    March 4, 2014 at 11:44 pm | Reply
  8. Middle Man

    Yes but, he's not the only one. It's time to quit trying to look into Putin's soul and hitting the reset button and start taking him for the KGB dictator he is. That doesn't mean that we should listen to the neo con's and back Putin into a corner by surrounding Russia with NATO forces, putting missiles all around him, and ending up with our military in another ground war which they just love to do. But, it means we have to do what nobody wants to do. Support Ukraine with financial aid along with the other countries that pressured Ukraine in giving up their nukes. We need to announce we are changing our relationship with Russia and call him out on his policies around the world and at home publicly. We need to put the pressure on our allies to start sanctions immediately. We could start by announcing to American businesses they are no longer allowed to do business with Russian banks costing them billions and hurting their economy. None of these will stop the power hungry, narcissistic, homophobic Putin but, it's a good place to start.

    March 4, 2014 at 8:33 pm | Reply
    • Smitty

      Not bad reasoning.

      March 4, 2014 at 10:23 pm | Reply
  9. Tony

    So, does anyone remember that Bush looked into Putin's eyes and saw his soul? Why should Obama be concerned about Putin when Bush and Putin were best friends?

    March 4, 2014 at 8:27 pm | Reply
  10. Typhoid Mary

    Allowing Paul Wolfowitz to weigh in on any foreign policy issues is mind boggling. Could you have found any one with bigger credibility problems. If this is what can be expected by the new Crossfire save some time and cancel it now.

    March 4, 2014 at 8:08 pm | Reply
  11. Sean Gray

    Putin will continue into Eastern Ukraine. Read about it in my blog at

    March 4, 2014 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  12. Taylor

    the Eastern European question is first a European question. Europe must lead the way as Putin's actions are on their continent; we (America) own our continent. I agree there is global interconnectedness; however, the battle is not between our President and Putin. It is between Putin and the E.U..
    Next, our congress does not show competence to take care of their own people so do we consider their stance with regards to higher order global thinking?
    Finally, there has been so much disdain over everything The President tries to accomplish; that is simply because he is African American. What's red-blooded American to do?

    March 4, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Reply
  13. William Donohoe

    Putin is just upset that Russia didn't win the gold in hockey.

    March 4, 2014 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  14. allenwoll

    Putin was OVER-estimated - As having some common sense ! !

    March 4, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Reply
  15. Miguel Serda

    no more than he did George w. bush when he invaded Georgia, and I didn't hear Gingrich or any of the other racist right wing verbal feces spewing Obama haters coming out of their poop stained undies with outrage and calling him weak. and what would the right be doing today that this president hasn't done, besides sending troops into harms way as long as its no one related to them? by the way, it wasn't Obama who looked into Putin's eyes and saw he's soul, was it? hypocrites one and all from the right, and none of them said word one when they were helping bush and Cheney spin this country out of control by signing every spending bill put in front of them which cause the enormous economic mess left at Obama's door steps upon taking office. oh! and what would they be saying had this president said the same thing Cheney did about deficit not mattering? more prove of their hypocrisy and racist hate of the black guy in the Whitehouse. and it wouldn't surprise me if at that meeting they had the night of Obama's first inauguration ball, if they didn't refer to him by the "N" word and how they would do everything to discredit, smear, slander and ambush his policies to make him look bad. to me that's nothing more and nothing less then domestic terrorism because they went against the government and country.

    Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2014 22:29:23 +0000 To:

    March 4, 2014 at 6:34 pm | Reply
  16. bcrunner

    Oh my God!! They are bringing in the neocon Wolfwitz to debate Russia? The same Wolfwitz who was part of the gang of warmongers that took us to a war in Iraq? The same one that told us it was going to be a a piece of cake? Why? Why to you even allow them to speak? What kind of credibility does he have? I would say NONE!!!

    March 4, 2014 at 6:31 pm | Reply
  17. Who Cares

    Anything Paul Wolfowitz has to say only represents the rant of an aging demogod who couldn't get his fill of blood.

    March 4, 2014 at 6:29 pm | Reply
  18. Chuck Sherman Jr

    Obama is a joke as a leader. The only thing he knows is community organizing.

    March 4, 2014 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  19. Smitty

    Its a sad day when your pres is THE BIGGEST LIAR OF THE YEAR and then Watch Putin eat him up, what a dismal bunch of wimps in the White House, and yes he did under estimate Putin.

    March 4, 2014 at 5:40 pm | Reply
    • gayle1965

      You Repuklicans always want war!! This show shoiuld be taken off the air!! It makes me sick, with all the lies!!

      March 7, 2014 at 9:55 am | Reply

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