The White House was forced to clarify President Joe Biden’s ‘inarticulate rhetoric’ after he seemed to call for regime change in Russia when he went off script and said ‘Putin cannot remain in power.’
Biden said: “We need to be clear-eyed. This battle will not be won in days and months. We need to steel ourselves for the long fight ahead. Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia, for free people refuse to live in a world of hopelessness and darkness.
“We will have a different future, a brighter future, rooted in democracy and principles, hope and light, of decency and dignity, of freedom, and possibilities. For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.
“You the Russian people are not our enemy.
“I refuse to believe that you welcome the killing of innocent children and grandparents.
“Or that you accept hospitals, schools, maternity wards — for God’s sake — being pummeled with Russian missiles and bombs.
“We’re seeing it once again today, the brave Ukrainian people showing that their power of many is greater than the will of any one dictator.
“We stand with you. Period.
“This war is not worthy of you, the Russian people. Putin can and must end this war. The American people will stand with you and the brave citizens of Ukraine who want peace,” he said.
A White House official clarified Biden’s comments saying Biden was not calling for regime change but meant Putin should not have power outside of Russia.
“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,” the official said.
Tyler Pager, a reporter from the Washington Post, said: “Biden’s line tonight saying Putin “cannot remain in power” was NOT planned and a surprise to U.S. officials, per people familiar.
“Still, officials say no change in policy. Instead, the line was an example of Biden’s sometimes inarticulate rhetoric.”
"For God's sake, this man cannot remain in power," Biden says of Vladimir Putin. pic.twitter.com/9QY9QidUZS— Greg Price (@greg_price11) March 26, 2022
"This is not who you are. This is not the future you deserve for your families and your children. I'm telling you the truth." @POTUS delivers a message to the Russian people urging them to not support President Vladimir Putin's war against Ukraine: https://t.co/pIOojLaXUk pic.twitter.com/olfvhQM3Xv— CNN (@CNN) March 26, 2022
Biden's line tonight saying Putin "cannot remain in power" was NOT planned and a surprise to U.S. officials, per people familiar.— Tyler Pager (@tylerpager) March 26, 2022
Still, officials say no change in policy. Instead, the line was an example of Biden's sometimes inarticulate rhetoric.https://t.co/EiGsMTjDUo