Boehner: Bush would've punched Putin in the nose for invading Crimea

House Speaker John Boehner says President Barack Obama's predecessor would have deterred Russian President Vladimir Putin from invading Ukraine.

"Does anybody think that Vladimir Putin would have gone into Crimea had George W. Bush been president of the United States?" Boehner said on Monday in Davenport, Iowa, where the Ohio Republican is campaigning for GOP hopefuls. "No! Even Putin is smart enough to know that Bush would have punched him in the nose in about 10 seconds!"

The comments drew applause from the crowd of GOP volunteers.

One problem with Boehner's rally cry: In 2008, when Bush was president, Putin invaded the Republic of Georgia — and the Bush administration was criticized for not coming down harder on Putin for Russia's attack on a key U.S. ally.

To invoke Bush on the campaign trail "is unusual," CNN noted, "especially since his foreign policy decisions — namely the Iraq War — led to a clean Democratic sweep in 2006."

For his part, Boehner has been a vocal critic of Obama's foreign policy.

Last month, after the White House launched U.S.-led airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Afghanistan, Boehner balked at the plan.

"Somebody's boots have to be on the ground," he said.

This isn't the first time it's been claimed that Putin wouldn't have invaded Crimea had someone else been president. Ann Romney recently said that Putin wouldn't have dared such a feat on her husband's watch. "I believe Putin would have known there would've been consequences to that," Romney told Yahoo News' Bianna Golodryga.

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