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ORLANDO, Fla. – Republican Senate candidate David McCormick of Pennsylvania says that Russian leader Vladimir Putin is “a bully” and “a tyrant on the world stage.”
McCormick, a West Point graduate and Gulf War combat veteran who served as a Treasury Department official in former President George W. Bush’s administration, told Fox News in an interview in Orlando, Florida, the day after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine that Putin “needs to be kept in check. We need to show strength.”
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And McCormick, who recently stepped down as the CEO of a hedge fund behemoth to launch his Senate bid in his native state, noted that “in a previous life” he’d had “been in a room with Putin. This guy’s a bully.”
“As a guy who fought in the 82nd Airborne…we cannot have American boys and girls, our sons and daughters deployed into war in Ukraine. We can’t have our military involved,” McCormick said. “But we do need to exhibit strength. The first thing we need to do is eliminate the bureaucracy and the regulations on our energy industry. The best way to keep Putin in check is a strong economy in the United States with energy exports that can fuel the world.”
Asked about the sanctions that President Biden and America’s allies have slapped on Moscow, McCormick argued that “they’ve been much too slow” and called for “sanctions that are tough on the Russian oligarchs, tough on Putin, don’t hurt the Russian people and don’t hurt the American economy.”
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McCormick’s repeatedly said that the haphazard U.S. withdrawal from war-torn Afghanistan last summer was a major reason he decided to run for the Senate in Pennsylvania in the race to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey. It’s a key battleground state race that could decide whether Republicans win back the chamber’s majority.
And he claimed, as many other Republicans have, that the Russian military assault on Ukraine “is a consequence of the debacle in Afghanistan. Afghanistan invited tyrants around the world to test us. That’s happening.”
“Make no mistake, without Joe Biden in office this crisis, I believe, would not have happened,” McCormick charged.
Asked if it’s a time for Democrats and Republicans to unite to offer a unified stance against Putin, McCormick answered, “This is a crisis for the world….We’ve got to push back on this. We’ve got to come together.”
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But he added, “I don’t think we can let President Biden off the hook. I don’t think we can fail to point out the circumstances that got us here. Yes, we need to come together on smart policy response, but no, I think we have to continue to be forthright on the things that got us here in the first place.”
McCormick spoke with Fox News on Thursday after speaking at a luncheon at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) – the largest and oldest gathering of conservative leaders and activists.
He’s part of a field of 10 Republican candidates that includes well-known celebrity physician Mehmet Oz, the cardiac surgeon, author and former longtime host of TV’s “Dr. Oz Show.” Oz will address the crowd at CPAC this weekend.
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Among the other leading contenders in the GOP Senate primary in Pennsylvania are a real estate developer, philanthropist and the 2018 Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, Jeff Bartos; Carla Sands, a real estate executive and major Republican donor who served as ambassador to Denmark under former President Trump; and veteran and conservative political commentator Kathy Barnette.
Source URL: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/pennsylvania-gop-senate-candidate-mccormick-putin-tyrant-cpac