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Why is Biden's “(Putin) …cannot remain in power” widely considered a gaffe to be walked back while previous US presidents have said similar?

The Politicus
Mar 31, 2022 10:03 PM 0 Answers
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Together, answers to How often a post WWII US president said publicly that the leader of another country must go? (e.g. "For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power") have listed perhaps a half-dozen times when postwar US presidents have made public statements themselves or via senior white house spokespeople that the leader of another country has got to go.

They also suggest that this is a fairly recent phenomenon, mostly starting with George W. Bush about Iraq's Saddam Hussein and instances for Barack Obama, Donald Trump and now (perhaps in-)famously Joe Biden.

But it seems to me that in the case of Biden's closing sentence of his March 27, 2022 speech in Poland about Vladimir Putin

For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.

there is widespread reference to this off-script sentence as a "gaffe" and that statements by the white house, other cabinet members (e.g. Antony Blinken) and Biden himself meant to "clarify" his statement as "walking it back". Just a few examples:

Question: Why is Biden's "For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power" widely considered a gaffe to be walked back, previous US presidents have made superficially similar statements?

There is one answer to the linked question that while it does not address the question asked does strive to answer this question. The reasons I've asked this new question include the following:

  1. Avoid "mission creep". The previous question was asked only to find out if this kind of a statement on its surface was isolated or if other presidents have made similar (if superficially so) statements.
  2. Allow all users an opportunity to answer this question
  3. ...that future readers will more easily find in searches as they now match the question.
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