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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Martinez: Bush wrong about Putin, McCain right



Speaking on NPR's Diane Rehm Show this morning, Florida Sen. Mel Martinez said Bush appears to have gotten it wrong about Russian leader Vladimir Putin when he so famously said, back in June 2001, "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy... I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country."

Martinez was discussing the conflict between Russia and the Republican of Georgia, a strong U.S. ally. Instead, he's said, he's partial to Sen. John McCain's view: "Perhaps McCain's assessment that he saw K-G-B when he looked into his eyes might be more correct," Martinez said.

Martinez said U.S. military intervention is inconceivable, but America and NATO must send a "strong message to Russia" that it's "not acceptable simply to recreate the Soviet empire and overrun these nations."

Ukraine could be next, "and what about the Czech Republic?" he said.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:06am]


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