Biden: Putin ‘Cannot Remain in Power’

President Joe Biden said Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power” – remarks the White House quickly walked back.


President Joe Biden ended his trip to Europe with a rhetorical escalation, saying Putin “cannot remain in power” – remarks the White House quickly walked back.

  • A White House official said Biden’s “off the cuff” remark was “not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change.”
  • Biden also labeled Putin a “butcher.” His remarks earned a quick response from the Kremlin, where a spokesman replied “it’s not up to the president of the US… to decide who will remain in power in Russia.”
  • The President called the fight against Putin “a new battle for freedom” and declare the West was “now stronger, more united than it has ever been.”
  • Russian rockets pounded Lviv in western Ukraine on Saturday while Biden was touring next-door Poland.
  • As the war in Ukraine continues, Russian generals are dying at a rate not seen since the Second World War. Ukraine has killed seven Russian generals in the battlefield out of a total of fifteen senior Russian commanders killed by Ukraine on land and sea.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times asked whether Biden’s “barbed remark” was a verbal slip or a veiled threat. The Times thought the remark “underscored the dual challenges” Biden faces – keeping America’s allies on side while avoiding an escalatory spiral with Russia.
  • CNN cast the speech in personal terms, saying it showed Biden’s “personal rivalry with Putin” was “more intense than ever.”
  • The Washington Post called Biden’s address “the most defiant and aggressive speech about Russia by an American president since Ronald Reagan.”


  • Matthew Continetti argued in National Review that Joe Biden still doesn’t get deterrence, citing Biden’s new claims that “sanctions never deter” – even though his administration spent the weeks before Putin’s invasion claiming their sanctions threats would deter Putin’s aggression.
  • Fox News reported the White House has been forced to walk back several of President Biden’s comments on his trip to Europe. The White House “clarified” Biden’s apparent call for regime change in Russia, his comments suggesting US troops would soon be in Ukraine, and promises to respond “in kind” if Russia used chemical weapons.
  • Hot Air’s Allahpundit asked, “How does a guy with 50 years’ experience in foreign policy at the Senate level or higher ad lib a line as momentous as calling for regime change in Russia during a hot war in Europe?” Comparing Biden to Reagan, he wrote, “Calling for regime change in Russia is what happens when “tear down this wall” gets filtered through the mind of a 79-year-old whose brain is already half oatmeal.”

Return to Freespoke

© Dominic Moore, 2022