PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Senator Pat Toomey joined Chris Stigall Tuesday on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and the upcoming Senate vote on the confirmation of Debo Adegbile, President Obama’s nominee to lead the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.
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“It certainly looks like Vladimir Putin has read Barack Obama and determined he can invade and independent sovereign state with impunity,” Toomey said, calling the administration’s reaction to Russia’s occupations of sites in Ukraine’s Crimea region “tepid.”
Toomey added there are actions the United States could take in both the short term and the long term to check Russian aggression.
“Sanctions would make a difference. Russia is largely a declining state, a declining population, a very weak crony capitalist system, a corrupt political system, and they are totally dependent on high energy prices. Why don’t we have an aggressive energy development policy? Not only is it the obvious common sense policy for our own economy, but look at the geopolitical benefits. Russia’s political, military and economic power all derives from high priced oil and natural gas, we develop these things to the extent that were capable of and we’re not going to be worried about Russia invading it’s neighbors,” he said.
Regarding the vote to confirm Adegbile, Toomey intimated the some Democrats facing re-election may be hesitate to support such a controversial choice for the position.
“My guess is some of them are not very happy the President has put them in this dilemma. The obvious right thing to do is to vote no and move on, but they may not see it this way.”
Toomey also believes a number a key constituencies that have all lined up against Adegbile’s confirmation may impact the outcome of the vote.
“You have the police, the sheriffs, the prosecutors, the district attorneys, you have everybody that pays attention and they’re saying ‘What? Mumia Abu-Jamal, seriously? A cold blooded murderer?’ And this guy thought it was a good idea to join to campaign to lionize that guy and make him a celebrity and to toss out the death penalty that a jury duly imposed on him and in some cases even the conviction. It’s beyond ridiculous,” Toomey said.