WASHINGTON, DC - Russian President Vladimir Putin's op-ed in The New York Times has accomplished something that's hard to do these days: Bring Congress together.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was succinct in a Thursday morning post on Twitter, calling the Putin column an "insult to the intelligence of every American." Across the political aisle, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez said he practically tossed his dinner.
"I almost wanted to vomit," Menendez, D-N.J., told CNN. "I worry when someone who came up through the KGB tells us what is in our national interests and what is not."
Over in the House, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said he was also "insulted" by the Putin column.
In the op-ed, Putin writes that it is not in America's long-term interest to intervene. He said people around the world are increasingly seeing America "not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force."
Putin hopes the U.S. and other members of the United Nations will rely on "civilized diplomatic and political settlement" to determine the next steps in dealing with the Syrian crisis.
Putin writes that he believes a U.S. airstrike on Syria could possibly "increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism."
McCain has said he is "extremely skeptical" about the Russian proposal for Syrian President Bashar Assad to hand over chemical weapons, but is willing to let the process play out.
At the end of the op-ed, Putin took issue with President Obama's remarks Tuesday night about American exceptionalism.
"It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation," Putin wrote. "There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long Democratic traditions and those still finding their way to Democracy ... We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord's blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal."
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