After siding with Vladimir Putin and against our allies and democracy, Ron DeSantis has found a fourth different answer, qualifying his opposition to supporting Ukraine as a misunderstanding, even as he stated that continued support is not a “sufficient interest.” But make no mistake – DeSantis stumbling over this answer makes clear he is out of his depth.
After calling Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a “territorial dispute” in a Tucker Carlson questionnaire, DeSantis took to the comforts of Piers Morgan to actually double down.
New York Post: “His assertion, in a statement to Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson, that it is not in America’s ‘vital national interests’ to become ‘further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia’ was strongly criticized by numerous senior Republicans — including Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Marco Rubio.
“When I asked him specifically if he regretted using the phrase ‘territorial dispute,’ DeSantis replied, ‘Well, I think it’s been mischaracterized.’”
This attempt at a clarification comes after even Senate Republicans denounced DeSantis’s comments and stance on Ukraine.
Senator John Cornyn: “I’m disturbed by it. I think he’s a smart guy. I want to find out more about it, but I hope he feels like he doesn’t need to take that Tucker Carlson line to be competitive in the primary… It’s important for us to continue to support Ukrainians for our own security.”
Senator Lindsey Graham: “To those who believe that Russia’s unprovoked and barbaric invasion of Ukraine is not a priority for the United States — you are missing a lot.”
Senator Marco Rubio: “Well, I don’t know what he’s trying to do or what the goal is. Obviously, he doesn’t deal with foreign policy every day as governor. So I’m not sure. … I mean, I can’t compare that to something else he did or has said over the last few years, because he doesn’t deal with it every day.”
Senator Roger Wicker: “This incident should serve as a wake-up call to isolationists in the United States that it is in our national interest to treat Putin as the threat he truly is.”
Senator Wicker: “I completely disagree with his comments.”
“I take them at face value, they were written and submitted, not off the cuff.”
Let’s not forget: Donald Trump’s position on Ukraine is just as extreme as DeSantis’s.
Daily Beast: “Fox News Edits Out Trump Saying He Might’ve Let Russia ‘Take Over’ Parts of Ukraine”
Donald Trump, February 2023: “I actually had a very good relationship.”
Washington Post, February 2022: “‘Genius,’ ‘Savvy’: Trump reacts to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine exactly as you’d expect”
Donald Trump, February 2022: “‘I said, ‘“How smart is that?’” He’s going to go in and be a peacekeeper,’ added Trump, who regularly praised and sought close ties with Putin during his time in office. ‘That’s the strongest peace force. We could use that on our southern border. That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. There were more army tanks than I’ve ever seen. They’re going to keep peace, all right.’”
Donald Trump, February 2022: “Putin is now saying, ‘It’s independent,’ a large section of Ukraine. I said, ‘How smart is that?’ And he’s gonna go in and be a peacekeeper… Here’s a guy who’s very savvy.”