Sen. Pete Ricketts, R-Neb., on Newsmax on Monday slammed the Biden administration for its “fail” in the handling of China’s spy balloon that drifted across the United States before being shot down over the Atlantic.
In an interview on Newsmax’s “National Report,” Ricketts said “this is clearly a provocation by the Chinese Communist Party.”
“They were looking to see what we would do when we have important events like this visit to China, or like the State of the Union address,” Ricketts said. “And frankly, if you look at what’s happened here, this has been a fail on the part of the administration on how they’ve handled it.”
According to Ricketts, had the Biden administration “taken decisive steps” and “if the military briefed the President early on” the spy balloon may have been stopped well before it drifted across the United States.
“If they’d been able to shoot this down, say over the Aleutian Islands, that would have sent a message that ‘Hey, we’re not going to be trifled with,'” he said. “We could have told the Chinese Communist Party ‘Hey we’re going to be tough on you. So don’t do this.’ And yet we failed to do that.”
Now, President Joe Biden heads into his State of the Union address on Tuesday “and instead of being able to talk about how he’s going to try and address our record-high inflation, get us less dependent on foreign oil, what he’s going to do about the southern border, the questions are all going to be about this,” Ricketts lamented.
Ricketts also asserted the late reply showed “weakness.”
“You know what the Chinese Communist Party is going to do, is say, ‘You know, look, the United States wouldn’t defend its own airspace.’ How are they going to be expected to defend anybody else?” he said.
Ricketts reiterated it is not a good look.
“It just looks like the President is not defending our borders again, just like he’s not doing it at the southern border, and he’s just projecting weakness to the world by not taking decisive action early,” Ricketts charged. “This is outrageous that we would allow a Chinese spy balloon to cross our territory without doing anything about it. It should have been shot down as soon as it entered U.S. airspace, and there’s just so many questions we have to have about this.
“The one final question is: What are you gonna do next time?”