OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Not many people are as adept in doing a ton of talking and not saying a ton of anything as Vice President Kamala Harris.
She did it again when she spoke to MSNBC host Joy Reid this week and was asked if Russian President Vladimir Putin should be removed from the presidency.
“Listen, I think that you frame the point quite accurately and well, which is America’s policy has been and will continue to be focused on the real issue at hand, which is one, the needs of the Ukrainian people, which we will continue to support through humanitarian assistance, through security assistance, but also ensuring there is serious consequence for Vladimir Putin and Russian aggression as it relates to Ukraine,” the vice president said.
“Which is why our policy from the beginning has been about ensuring that there are going to be real costs exacted against Russia in the form of severe sanctions, which are having a real impact and immediate impact, not to mention the longer term impact, which is about saying there is going to be consequence and accountability when you commit the kinds of atrocities that he is committing,” she said.
She went on to praise President Joe Biden and then said, “To your point, Joy, I’ve been to Poland,” which was not Reid’s question.
She then talked about visiting France, Germany and Romania as she continued to not answer the question that was asked.
“I will tell you in sitting down with prime ministers and presidents, often the first thing they would say to me is thank you to the United States and this administration for bringing us together, for building the coalition for reinvigorating the relationship between the United States and its NATO allies, reinvigorating the relationship and importance of the relationship to the E.U. in terms of an issue like Ukraine, which is ultimately about one of the most important principles we’re fighting for, the importance of sovereignty territorial integrity,” she said.
The vice president never answered the question on Putin remaining in power and the host did not press further.
It comes after the White House had to walk back comments made by President Biden that sounded to some like he was calling for regime change in Russia.
The president ended his speech in Poland last week in what many believed to be a reference to regime change in Russia and getting rid of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
On Putin the president said, “For God’s sake this man cannot remain in power.”
Biden referring to Putin: "for god sake, this man cannot remain in power. " pic.twitter.com/rYMogy5xeb
— Kevin Tober (@KevinTober94) March 26, 2022
“This is not to be decided by Mr. Biden. It should only be a choice of the people of the Russian Federation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in response.
The White House later explained that, “The President’s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region. He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change.”
“Biden on Putin: ‘this man cannot remain in power’ for the first time, overtly embracing regime change in Russia,” CNN reporter John Harwood said.
Biden on Putin: "this man cannot remain in power"
for the first time, overtly embracing regime change in Russia
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) March 26, 2022
“WARSAW — ‘For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,’ said Biden, referring to Putin, as he closes out his big speech in Poland. Worth noting that the Biden administration so far has been at pains to NOT even hint at anything approximately regime change,” MSNBC political analyst Ashley Parker said.
WARSAW — "For God's sake, this man cannot remain in power," said Biden, referring to Putin, as he closes out his big speech in Poland.
Worth noting that the Biden administration so far has been at pains to NOT even hint at anything approximately regime change.
— Ashley Parker (@AshleyRParker) March 26, 2022
🚨POTUS ends his speech with the strongest words we’ve heard yet directed at Putin: "For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”
— annmarie hordern (@annmarie) March 26, 2022
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Biden ends speech in Poland by calling for Putin's removal, saying, 'For God's sake, this man cannot remain in power.'
— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) March 26, 2022
Biden draws a new line. “This man cannot remain in power.” That takes this struggle to a whole new level.
— Joe Cirincione (@Cirincione) March 26, 2022
The line that will be the one that jumps out at Vladimir Vladimyrovich:
For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.
— Dan Baer (@danbbaer) March 26, 2022
It was the end of a long speech in which he portrayed Ukraine as the front line in the fight between autocracy and democracy.
” My message to the people of Ukraine is … we stand with you. Period,” he said in front of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland.
“We emerged anew in the great battle for freedom, a battle between democracy and autocracy. Between liberty and oppression. Between a rules-based order and one governed by brute force,” he said. “In this battle, we need to be clear-eyed. This battle will not be won in days or months either. We need to steel ourselves for the long fight ahead.”