Republican calls for Biden to step down over weak spy balloon response

 February 7, 2023

President Joe Biden is getting an earful from Republicans over his weak response to China's spy balloon, but one lawmaker is taking things a step further by calling for him to resign. 

South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson (R) tweeted that Biden and his vice president should step down over the "catastrophic spectacle."

Time for Biden to go?

The balloon was first spotted by the U.S. military off the Aleutian Islands in late January, before crossing into Canada and then entering the continental United States.

It ultimately traveled all the way to South Carolina, where it was finally shot down Saturday, days after it was spotted hovering near missile sites in Montana.

Wilson said the "spectacle clearly threatened American families from Alaska to my home community in South Carolina" and that Biden should step aside.

Wilson tied Biden's handling of the incident to his "open border" policy and the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying Biden had proven he can't keep Americans safe.

"When the domestic attack occurs, Biden and Harris will not be able to adequately respond," he continued. "Credible leadership is imperative to protect American families."

Biden's balloon pops

Biden's flat-footed reaction has caused anger and alarm, but the president and his backers claim his delayed response was necessary to prevent injury to people on the ground.

"After careful analysis, U.S. military commanders had determined downing the balloon while over land posed an undue risk to people across a wide area due to the size and altitude of the balloon and its surveillance payload," Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement.

While Biden and his allies are spinning his delayed response as an example of strength and resolve, critics are saying he acted too late.

"Why was this allowed to go clear across the country for so many days?" Rep. Russell Fry (Sc.) told Fox News.


Meanwhile, Biden -- who has shown a violent allergy toward accepting responsibility -- has been accused of pulling a shameless CYA move after a top defense official leaked a story that incidents involving Chinese spy balloons also occurred during the Trump years.

Officials left a crucial bit of information out of their initial account: the balloons were not detected until after Trump left the White House.

Despite China's brazen spying, Biden has appeared eager not to provoke, saying the incident hasn't weakened ties with Beijing.

"We did the right thing and it's not a question of weakening or strengthening - it's reality," Biden said Monday.

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