McCain: Ukraine Ought to Make Putin 'Nervous'

Susan Rice warns getting involved would be 'grave mistake'
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2014 1:15 PM CST
McCain: Ukraine Ought to Make Putin 'Nervous'
Kirsten Gillibrand and John McCain applaud President Obama's State of the Union address, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

John McCain had some stern words for Vladimir Putin today, saying that it was clear that the people of Ukraine "want to be Western" and not "Eastern," and that the protests there ought to make the Russian strongman, an ally of Viktor Yanukovych, more than a little uneasy about his own leadership in Russia. "If I were Vladimir Putin, I would be little bit nervous." He cautioned that splitting Ukraine along Eastern-Western ideological lines was "totally unacceptable," reports Politico. National security adviser Susan Rice chimed right in, per the AP, warning Putin that getting involved "would be a grave mistake. It's not in the interest of Ukraine or of Russia or of Europe or the United States to see the country split." Elsewhere on your Sunday dial, as per Politico:

  • George W. Bush on his veterans initiative: "There’s what we call a civilian-military divide. The returning vets think one thing, the civilian population thinks another. And our aim is to get people to understand each other better for the good of the veteran community. I have a duty. I obviously get slightly emotional talking about our vets, because I have an emotional… I’m in there with them."
  • Scott Walker on email scandal: "If you look at the facts out there, this is old news. This is about a case that was closed last March. A Democratic district attorney in Milwaukee County spent multiple years looking at all this information." Democrats "desperately want to switch the subject on a subject that’s already been resolved as of last March."
  • Vermont Gov. Pete Shumlin on ObamaCare: "Websites get fixed. We’re fixing ours." But Scott Walker, like many GOP governors, is "turning down, in Wisconsin as an example, $4.4 billion in federal money over the next decade that would help Wisconsinites get affordable health care. These Republican governors—because they don’t like the president, because they want to make a political point—are hurting their constituents."
  • Rick Perry on legalizing pot: "No. What we've done in the state of Texas is we've started looking at adjusting the penalties of criminal use of marijuana. We've seen our prison populations go down."
  • Mike McCaul on extraditing 'El Chapo': "There’s a history here. He escaped from a prison in 2001. There is corruption in that country. I would ask that the Mexicans consider extraditing him to the United States where he would be put into a super-max prison under tight security where he cannot escape."
(Read more Susan Rice stories.)

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