Republicans are calling for President Biden to take action on a suspected Chinese spy balloon as it continues floating over the United States, saying previous presidents would not remain idle in such a situation.
Rep. Jim Jordan said former Presidents Donald Trump, Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy, and Harry S. Truman would not let China “off the hook” and Sen. Ted Cruz said the inaction signaled “indecision and weakness.”
“Would Trump have let China fly a spy balloon over our country?” asked Jordan. “Would Reagan? JFK? Truman? No, no, no, and no.”
He added: “So why’s Biden letting China off the hook?”
SUSPECTED CHINESE SPY BALLOON COULD END UP OVER THE CAROLINAS LATER THIS WEEKEND IF BIDEN FAILS TO TAKE ACTION
The White House said on Friday Biden would not shoot down the balloon, despite calls from lawmakers and others, as it “does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground.”
Cruz chimed in the discussion, saying Biden allowing the balloon to remain signaled “indecision and weakness.”
“Everything about the Biden admin’s response to the Chinese spy balloon reeks of indecision and weakness. They can’t decide whether to shoot it down or not. They can’t decide whether to go to China or not,” he tweeted.
PENTAGON SAYS ANOTHER CHINESE SPY BALLOON IS TRAVELING OVER LATIN AMERICA
The Texan added: “China has been spying on us pervasively. They also commit genocide, use slave labor, and threaten us and our allies. Staggering to think a balloon changes everything for Team Biden.”
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton, who served two combat tours in Iraq, also urged Biden to “stop coddling and appeasing the Chinese communists.”
“Bring the balloon down now and exploit its tech package, which could be an intelligence bonanza,” added Cotton, R-Iowa.
The suspected spy balloon was first reported over the continental U.S. over Montana, which is home to the Malmstrom Air Force Base and dozens of nuclear missile silos.
Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., tweeted a simple instruction to the Biden administration.
“Shoot. It. Down,” he wrote.
Zinke added: “The Chinese spy balloon is clear provocation. In Montana, we do not bow. We shoot it down. Take the shot.”
“Literally every regular person I know is talking about how to shoot down the Chinese Spy Balloon. It would be great if an average Joe shot it down because China Joe won’t,” tweeted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia.
CHINA LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION INTO SUSPECTED SPY BALLOON FLYING OVER US, MINISTRY SAYS
Former President Donald Trump seemed to confirm Jordan’s tweet, as he wrote on social media the balloon should be shot out of the sky.
“SHOOT DOWN THE BALLOON!” he wrote on social media.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed that the balloon belonged to China on Friday, saying it is collecting weather data and had blown away from its intended course.
“The airship is from China. It is a civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said. “Affected by the Westerlies and with limited self-steering capability, the airship deviated far from its planned course.”
The spokesperson continued, “The Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the airship into U.S. airspace due to force majeure. The Chinese side will continue communicating with the U.S. side and properly handle this unexpected situation caused by force majeure.”
The balloon is expected to arrive over the Carolinas by Saturday afternoon.