Senator Tim Scott, R-S.C., was adamant that he would not be offering President Joe Biden any applause at Tuesday night’s State of the Union for his handling of the Chinese spy balloon.
While the 80-year-old president has taken withering criticism for allowing the CCP balloon to traverse the entire country before shooting it down, there has been a concerted media campaign to salvage his image amid growing complaints of weak leadership — Biden said he gave the order to shoot down the balloon Wednesday but the Pentagon essentially overrode his call due to concerns about falling debris. The balloon, which first entered U.S. airspace in Alaska, was eventually downed on Saturday just off the U.S. East Coast.
“They had an opportunity to act and they let it pass by,” Scott said of the Biden administration, during an appearance Tuesday on “Fox & Friends.”
“One of the things when you have weakness on the global stage and Biden has presented weakness, not strength, you see our adversaries and our competitors, whether it’s China, Iran or, frankly, Russia, they’re all emboldened by weak leadership from the American president. And this is another indication that China assumes that he is weak,” Scott added.
Amid all the criticism, the Pentagon claimed that steps were taken to mitigate the balloon’s surveillance capabilities, and Biden’s media allies painted a glowing portrait of a wise and thoughtful commander-in-chief gaining the upper hand by allowing for more time to study the balloon and to retrieve the debris.
As with all things these days, the Chinese spy balloon has become yet another political flashpoint, and Fox News host Brian Kilmeade noted that President Biden is sure to tout his leadership on the issue at Tuesday night’s joint sessions address.
“Will you cheer that?” he asked Scott.
“Absolutely not. It was literally a dereliction of duty to wait six or seven days before he acted,” the GOP senator replied. “That is not in the American people’s best interest. What’s in our best interest is to take enemy and/or adversaries, to take action against them as soon as possible. That did not happen. There’s nothing to cheer about in this situation whatsoever.
Scott shared that he was informed about an hour before the balloon was shot down off the coast of South Carolina.
“The truth is, slow action from this administration imperils people throughout the world, even here at home,” he added. “That is something we should take seriously — the dereliction of duty from President Biden.”
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