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Boehner Claims Bush Would’ve Punched Putin in the Nose; Here Are 2 Problems with That

During a campaign stop in Iowa Monday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) claimed President Barack Obama’s “apology tour” had weakened America to the point of emboldening geopolitical upstarts. Ho hum, at this point. But this little riff is new:

“When you look at this chaos that’s going on, does anybody think that Vladimir Putin would have gone into Crimea had George W. Bush been president of the United States? No! Even Putin is smart enough to know that Bush would have punched him in the nose in about 10 seconds.”

Two problems with that: One, Bush did deal with Putin, when he infamously looked Putin in the eye and rendered a conciliatory verdict upon his spirit:

“I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country.”

That’s not exactly a prelude to a nose punch. (Bush believes Putin has changed since; or, at least, that’s his story and he’s sticking to it.)

More to the point, as was tirelessly pointed out during the Crimean invasion, Putin invaded the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008. Bush did not punch him in the nose. Bush did not, in fact, do anything Obama didn’t do in 2014.

Even for campaign-stop partisan historical revisionism, this is bad.

Watch the clip below:

[h/t Steve Benen / Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

[Image via Gage Skidmore]

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