Sen. Braun to Newsmax: 'Dynamic' With Russia, China Changed Under Biden (Newsmax/"National Report")
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Tuesday, 07 December 2021 02:15 PM
Russia and China have "already changed the dynamic" on how they deal with the United States after President Joe Biden took office because the current administration has failed to set the stage for negotiations "ahead of the game," Sen. Mike Braun told Newsmax Tuesday after Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin began their video conference to discuss Ukraine.
But when former President Donald Trump was still in office "there was clearly a feeling" that neither country could get away with threatening activities, the Indiana Republican told Newsmax's "National Report," because "of the uncertainty of what the response might be."
"When you make it apparent upfront that you're saying 'well, we're going to talk this through,' I don't know that Putin respects that," said Braun, adding that he does think diplomacy should always be used to keep the United States out of foreign entanglements.
However, "a lot of that has to do with how you set the stage, way ahead of the game," said Braun.
"I don't know if you can make a difference when you're engaging when troops are already amassed," as they are outside Ukraine's border, in the case of Russia, "or when China has been out saying very clearly [not to] step in too far when it comes to the Taiwan issue," said Braun. "They've already changed the dynamic and a lot of that has to do with how you set the stage leading up to where you are."
Meanwhile, Biden's announcement that the United States would stage a "diplomatic boycott" against the Beijing Olympics is the "most minimal thing" he could have done.
"I think that gets interpreted that we do not want to get serious about what the Chinese have displayed," said Braun.
Meanwhile, China is "in it for the long game" with its efforts to world dominance, including investing in South America and looking at putting a naval base in Equatorial Guinea, where it would establish its first presence in the Atlantic Ocean, the senator said.
"They've definitely got more endurance for pain than we have," said Braun. "And, when you generally set a context of weakness and acquiescence, I think the main players that are doing mischief across the world are going to continue doing it and even more so."
Braun on Tuesday also discussed a bill against vaccine mandates that he and all other Senate Republicans, along with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., back.
"Regardless of what you think about the vaccine, I think we were lucky to get it as quickly as we did and you should probably get it unless you have a really good reason not to," said Braun. "But when you take it to the heavy hand of a federal government that seems to be wanting to federalize everything and you say you either get it or you lose your job…people just aren't buying into that,"
Braun said he thinks there are four or five other Democrats from swing states, as well as Democrats in the House, who will also support the measure, and tell Biden "once and for all this is beyond the pale."
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