Kudlow tells Biden: Come out from under your desk and bark back at Putin

Kudlow tells Biden to act like a president.

I don't know if you're like me folks, but I grow quite weary and indeed get angry that every time Vladimir Putin makes a threat, President Biden and his minions immediately look for a desk to crawl under. 

Putin’s saber-rattles about nuclear weapons and the administration just goes, "Oh no, oh no, we'll never do anything to offend you." But you know what? The U.S. has a very strong nuclear force and a very strong missile defense system — that, by the way, was started four decades ago by my former boss Ronald Reagan. 

I mean it would be nice, just once in a while, if Joe Biden said that the United States has the nuclear force to destroy Russia and that Putin ought not to forget that. Just once blast back. 


Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks as he attends the G20 summit via video conference in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021.  (Evgeniy Paulin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP / AP Newsroom)

Or that the entire Russian economy is only 6.5% the size of the American economy, and now that the U.S.’s belated sanctions are starting to take hold, ruining their foreign exchange reserves and their currency, essentially closing down their banks and doing great damage to their energy sector — even though we could do much more in those areas. 

It takes 120 rubles to buy a dollar, which is pathetic, like a third-world country. Actually, if you live in Russia, it probably takes 200 rubles to buy a dollar — even more pathetic. 

So, Joe Biden ought to really start acting like an America-first president instead of cowering at every Putin statement. 

NATO forces and their economies are so totally, vastly, overwhelmingly larger and more powerful than anything Russia could possibly muster. While nobody's perfect in life, the U.S. and NATO show the great virtues of democracy and a market economy. 

Putin's Russia shows the weakness of an authoritarian undemocratic state-controlled economy. In the long run, Putin and his phantasmagorical ahistorical dreams of a czarist Russian empire will ultimately be doomed to the dust bin of history. He knows it. Most folks know it. Why doesn't Joe Biden know it? 

Stop cowering Mr. Biden. Start acting like the leader of the greatest country in the history of history. You should've slapped the sanctions on before Putin invaded. You told us withholding the sanctions would be a deterrent, but you were wrong. They deterred nothing. Then you turned around and lied by saying they were never meant to be a deterrent. Really? What in God's name are you talking about?  


President Biden announces that along with the European Union and the Group of Seven countries, the U.S. will move to revoke "most favored nation" trade status for Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, Friday, March 11, 2022, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Biden announces that along with the European Union and the Group of Seven countries, the U.S. will move to revoke "most favored nation" trade status for Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, Friday, March 11, 2022, in the Roosevelt Room at t (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik / AP Newsroom)

You finally got around, under pressure from Congress, to stop Russian oil imports and start ponying up $15 billion of additional assistance to Ukraine. You should've delivered the weapons and the money at the beginning of Putin’s adventurism, not after it's too late. I don't live and die by the polls, but for heaven's sakes, the country wants you, Mr. Biden, to stop leading from behind. 

CBS/YouGov Poll: "Biden’s actions towards Russia have been..." 

52%: not strong enough toward Russia.  

Only 36% say about right.  

CBS/YouGov Poll: Strongest options against Russia... 

65%: tougher economic sanctions. That means all of their fossil energy exports.  

61% say more weapons and supplies. 

Wall Street Journal poll: 55% want more military aid to Ukraine, such as weapons and equipment. 55% want more economic sanctions on Russia. That means, for example, right now, put your stamp of approval on the Polish airplanes going to Ukraine.  

Putin calls that an act of war, and there you go again, sir, cowering, looking for a desk under which to hide. Come out from under your desk and bark back at Putin. 


Joe Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks about Russia's "unprovoked and unjustified" military invasion of neighboring Ukraine in the East Room of the White House on February 24, 2022 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Get the airplanes over there. It's just a bunch of old Soviet planes to begin with. First you said yes, then Putin barked, and then you cowered. Why don't you bark? We're sending them all these other weapons, and Putin knows that. He's just toying with you. 

Stop letting Putin control the play as he has since last November. You're diplomacy failed. You still haven't recovered and the worst part is the Ukrainian people are suffering badly. The great fact here is the bravery and courage of the Ukrainians and their president. They have stymied Russia. 

The performance of the Red Army has been a laughingstock. The so-called 40-mile convoy broke up because it was getting shelled heavily by the brave Ukrainians and the Russian soldiers were running away en masse. 

The Russians were afraid of Reagan. The Russians were afraid of Trump. As Machiavelli taught us 500 years ago, it is always better to be feared than loved. But no one fears you, Mr. President. 


If you stood up, Mr. President, if you barked back at Putin, if you put him in his place, if you showed good old-fashioned American backbone, you could drive him to the negotiating table for a peace deal. That is what a strong American president should and could do, but not if you wilt every time Putin does a bit of saber-rattling. 

Act like a president, Mr. Biden, and this whole war against humanity in Ukraine will come to an end without spreading into World War III. Think about it. 

This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow's opening commentary on the March 14, 2022 edition of "Kudlow."