Poll Shows Just How Weak Americans Think Biden Is on Russia

April 21, 2022

A majority of Americans say President Joe Biden has been "not tough enough" on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll.

Fifty-four percent say Biden's handling of the invasion is too weak, while 36 percent back the president's approach. Just 8 percent say Biden has been too harsh. Republican lawmakers have agitated in recent weeks for the United States to give further intelligence and security assistance to Ukraine as Russian president Vladimir Putin's war on the country stretches into its third month.

Since Russia's incursion on Feb. 24, Biden has navigated U.S. involvement in the war amid a threat of nuclear escalation. His administration banned imports of Russian oil and gas and levied crippling economic sanctions as it delivered billions in security assistance to Ukraine. The U.S. military also sent 15,000 troops overseas to reinforce NATO countries, even though Biden has promised the United States will not get involved in the war.

The efforts have been complicated by Biden's public statements, some of which have provoked Russia. In March, he appeared to call for regime change when he said Putin "cannot remain in power"—a statement that his staff later walked back.

Despite the invasion, the United States has cooperated with Russia in negotiating a new Iran nuclear deal. The Washington Free Beacon has reported the deal could enrich several of Russia's state-owned nuclear companies with billions of dollars, waiving sanctions for them so that they can build up Iran's nuclear infrastructure.