Asked to explain the crisis in “layman’s terms,” the American vice president instead gave a “kindergartener’s” answer, according to critics.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris has been mocked in the media over what was considered her childish explanation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine Tuesday.
Harris was asked on the radio show “The Morning Hustle” to “break it down in layman’s terms for people who don’t understand what’s going on and how can this directly affect the people of the United States.”
She answered, “Ukraine is a country in Europe. It exists next to another country called Russia. Russia is a bigger country. Russia is a powerful country. Russia decided to invade a smaller country called Ukraine, so basically that’s wrong and it goes against everything that we stand for.”
Kamala Harris explains the Ukraine/Russia conflict:
“Ukraine is a country in Europe. It exists next to another country called Russia. Russia is a bigger country.” pic.twitter.com/QYPLJ02mDy
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 1, 2022
Her explanation regarding the deterrent effect of sanctions was also simplistic.
“So you know if you’re a parent and you tell your children to do this, the punishment is gonna be that, right? And we hope that by doing that, it will deter our children from doing the wrong thing, right? So that’s deterrence, so that’s where we started with the sanctions. And when Russia actually went in we are implementing the sanctions.”
Critics exploded on social media.
“Layman’s terms doesn’t mean ‘assume the audience has never heard of Russia,’” Washington Examiner executive editor Seth Mandel tweeted.
“Layman’s terms just means don’t answer ‘the parallel trends of NATO enlargement and post-Soviet de-nuclearization in the 90s really set us on the path to the failed Minsk Agreement.’ You may use, without defining, words such as ‘Russia.’”
“Apparently Vice President Kamala Harris believes the average American layperson is aged 4,” posted Ben Domenech, publisher of the conservative online magazine The Federalist. “You will hear higher levels of explanation of international affairs in [British animated series] Peppa Pig.”
Reactions in Twitterdom ranged from mocking the vice president’s own intelligence to angrily denouncing her condescending attitude to the American people.
“It’s probably word-for-word how they had to explain it to her…” wrote one man.
“Oh well thank God for this … I would have had NO IDEA without her kindergarten explanation,” wrote a woman, who added emojis of eye-rolling and a woman smacking her face with her hand.
This misspoken moment reminded others of when she discussed the impending invasion with reporters at last month’s Munich Security Conference.
She said then, ‘I mean, listen guys, we are talking about the potential for war in Europe. I mean, let’s really take a moment to understand the significance of what we’re talking about.”
She was also derided at the time for saying that there had been “peace and security” in Europe for “over 70 years,” ignoring years of fighting that occurred during the post-USSR breakup of countries such as Yugoslavia and other, shorter-term military conflicts on the continent.
Over the last several months, polls have shown Harris to be an unpopular vice president. In an average of all the most recent national surveys, the Real Clear Politics polling data aggregator had her at a low 37.5% approval rating and a 51% disapproval rating through February 24.
One poll, by YouGov, exemplified the very clear split on partisan lines, where 75% of Democrats gave Harris a thumbs up and a whopping 89% of Republicans gave her a thumbs down. However, Independents also disapproved of Harris by a more than two-to-one margin, 62% to 27%.