When President Biden stated in a recent interview that the United States was running low on 155 mm artillery ammunition rounds, conservatives on social media expressed indignation and questioned his competence.
Biden justified his administration’s decision to deliver cluster munitions to Ukraine as a “transition period” until more munitions are made during the interview, which aired Sunday morning.
“This is a war relating to munitions. And they’re running out of that ammunition, and we’re low on it,” Biden told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. “And so, what I finally did, I took the recommendation of the Defense Department to – not permanently – but to allow for this transition period while we get more 155 weapons, these shells, for the Ukrainians.”
Conservative critics and professionals alike questioned why Biden was publicizing the U.S. shortfall during a nationally televised conversation that would be viewed by opponents. Reactions on social media ranged from confusion to indignation.
“Love when the president of America goes on CNN to tell everyone we’re low on ammo,” remarked political operative Logan Dobson.
love when the president of America goes on CNN to tell everyone we’re low on ammo. https://t.co/vd0eQRh75Z
— Logan Dobson (@LoganDobson) July 8, 2023
“Joe Biden broadcasting to the world that the US is low on 155mm shells,” conservative communicator Steve Guest tweeted. “Moron. Does Biden not care that our adversaries in China are listening?”
Joe Biden broadcasting to the world that the US is low on 155mm shells.
Moron. Does Biden not care that our adversaries in China are listening? https://t.co/X8M9k617CU
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) July 8, 2023
“In CNN interview, President Biden is not particularly clear but seems to be saying US is sending cluster munitions to Ukraine because we are running out of 155mm artillery ammunition to send them,” wrote Byron York of the Washington Examiner. “Seems obvious this is affecting US readiness to defend itself.”
In CNN interview, President Biden is not particularly clear but seems to be saying US is sending cluster munitions to Ukraine because we are running out of 155mm artillery ammunition to send them. Seems obvious this is affecting US readiness to defend itself. pic.twitter.com/ofKyZQUx2X
— Byron York (@ByronYork) July 9, 2023
When pressed to respond to criticism following Biden’s CNN appearance, a White House representative attempted to retract Biden’s remark that the US was out of options.
“The military has specific requirements for the numbers of weapons systems and ammunition we maintain in our reserves in case of contingencies or military conflict,” a White House official said in an email to Fox News Digital. “Everything we send to Ukraine is in excess of that. So, the U.S. is not running out of ammunition ourselves.”
“Joe Biden wasn’t supposed to say the quiet part out loud: ‘We’ve run out of ammunition.’ But now that the cat’s out of the bag, one must ask whether continued support of Ukraine’s military is even feasible as the conflict rages on,” political commentator Ian Miles Cheong remarked.
Joe Biden wasn't supposed to say the quiet part out loud: "We've run out of ammunition". But now that the cat's out of the bag, one must ask whether continued support of Ukraine's military is even feasible as the conflict rages on. pic.twitter.com/jddIrHlSM8
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) July 9, 2023
“The point of the proxy war was to weaken Russia,” tech entrepreneur David Sacks tweeted. “But the U.S. ran out of ammo first. So who’s weakening whom?”
The point of the proxy war was to weaken Russia. But the U.S. ran out of ammo first. So who’s weakening whom? pic.twitter.com/Xdcpm1xIRp
— David Sacks (@DavidSacks) July 8, 2023
Robert Kennedy Jr., Biden’s rival in the Democratic presidential primary, criticized the vice president on Twitter on Saturday after he authorized the shipment of cluster munitions to Ukraine.
“Last year, WH Press Secretary Jen Psaki called the use of cluster bombs a ‘war crime.’ Now President Biden plans to send them to Ukraine. Stop the ceaseless escalation! It is time for peace,” Kennedy wrote in a tweet.
Last year, WH Press Secretary Jen Psaki called the use of cluster bombs a “war crime.” Now President Biden plans to send them to Ukraine. Stop the ceaseless escalation! It is time for peace. #Kennedy24https://t.co/W1uXkQY4dW
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) July 8, 2023
“Biden was opposed to cluster bombs in 1982 as well, when he opposed their sale to Israel,” Kennedy, who entered the White House race in April, added in a separate tweet. “What happened to his conscience?”
The White House representative also justified the administration’s decision to approve cluster munitions for Ukraine by claiming they did not want Ukraine to be “left defenseless.”
“We are authorizing cluster munitions to ensure that Ukraine is not left defenseless while we wait for our own domestic production of ammunition to ramp up substantially, which we are in the process of doing as are our allies and partners,” the official added. “These cluster munitions are a bridge as we significantly increase production of ammunition over the coming months – and will have much higher production levels soon.”