OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis was praised by many this week after his comments about the Ukraine-Russia war.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson sent a questionnaire out to DeSantis, former President Donald Trump, and all major prospective Republican presidential candidates last week. DeSantis responded by slamming President Joe Biden’s support of Ukraine and argued that it’s not “vital” to the United States to help the European nation fend off Russia’s invasion.
“While the U.S. has many vital national interests – securing our borders, addressing the crisis of readiness within our military, achieving energy security and independence, and checking the economic, cultural, and military power of the Chinese Communist Party – becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them,” DeSantis said in a statement.
“The Biden administration’s virtual ‘blank check’ funding of this conflict for ‘as long as it takes,’ without any defined objectives or accountability, distracts from our country’s most pressing challenges,” he argued.
DeSantis accused Biden’s policies of pushing “Russia into a de facto alliance with China” and empowering “Russia’s energy-dominated economy and Putin’s war machine at Americans’ expense.”
“Our citizens are also entitled to know how the billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are being utilized in Ukraine. We cannot prioritize intervention in an escalating foreign war over the defense of our own homeland, especially as tens of thousands of Americans are dying every year from narcotics smuggled across our open border and our weapons arsenals critical for our own security are rapidly being depleted,” DeSantis concluded in his questionnaire response, the New York Post reported.
Several on Twitter praised DeSantis for his remarks.
DeSantis to Tucker on Ukraine:
“We cannot prioritize intervention in an escalating foreign war over the defense of our own homeland.” pic.twitter.com/EkXYHdL1VE
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) March 14, 2023
DeSantis comes out against neocons on Ukraine. He says Washington has created a disastrous alliance between Russia and China while prioritizing Ukraine’s security over our own at a time when Americans are dying from drugs trafficked by cartels across the border. He’s right. https://t.co/R6MksbZFOp
— Pedro L. Gonzalez (@emeriticus) March 14, 2023
Trump says WW3 will happen if Ukraine-Russia escalates. DeSantis calls it a border dispute that the US should have no involvement in and that the focus should be on fixing America’s domestic problems. Noem says sanctions are useless and America’s focus should be on competing with… https://t.co/ZgBJ2ZqOan
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) March 14, 2023
He’s right. It really isn’t vital for US interest.
It only helps a select few who have investments in Ukraine.
— Adam Alfi (@AdamAlfi) March 14, 2023
Ron DeSantis says protecting Ukraine is not a vital U.S. interest, and that policymakers should instead focus attention at home.
This is what any America First candidate should sound like if they want our votes in 2024.
— James Bradley (@JamesBradleyCA) March 14, 2023
Trump issued a similar response to the questionnaire.
“No, but it is for Europe,” adding that European allies “should be paying far more than we are, or equal.”
Carlson’s questionnaire also asked: “What specifically is our objective in Ukraine, and how will we know when we’ve achieved it?”
Trump said the objective is to “help and secure Europe, but Europe isn’t helping itself,” telling Carlson it’s “very unfair” for the U.S. to largely foot the bill, especially since Europe “takes advantage of us on trade and other things.”
“Both sides are weary and ready to make a deal. The meetings should start immediately, there is no time to spare. The death and destruction must end now!” Trump said
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During a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Trump said he would “prevent World War III” as president.
“NATO wouldn’t even exist if I didn’t get them to pay up, but they paid up $449 billion or something and that’s the money they use. They are rich as hell right now. They spent — on an office building that cost $3 billion. (…) Russia wouldn’t even need an airplane attack. One tank, one shot through that beautiful glass building and it’s gone. The same architect, I used in Chicago, a great architect. (…) I got along with Vladimir Putin very well. I say Vladimir don’t do it. You know, you and I are friends, don’t take over any country. (…) I will have the disastrous war between Russia and Ukraine settled. It will be settled quickly, quickly. (Cheering and Applause) I will get the problem solved and I will get it solved in rapid order, and it will take me no longer than one day,” Trump said.
“I know exactly what to say to each of them. I got along with — very well with him. I got along very well with Putin. (…) I’m the only candidate who can make this promise, I will prevent and very easily World War III, very easily. (Cheering and Applause) And you’re going to have World War III by the way. You’re going to have World War III if something doesn’t happen fast. You’re going to have World War III,” he added.