Several influential Republican senators spoke out in response to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' recent remarks that US backing for Ukraine is not a "vital" national interest.
For South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, "To say this doesn't matter it is to say that war crimes don't matter." She also warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin's hostility will "go beyond Ukraine."
DeSantis, who has not officially declared his intention to run for president, said in a statement that "while the US has many vital national interests … becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them."
"We cannot prioritize intervention in an escalating foreign war over the defense of our 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," the Florida governor said.
Ukraine will have to pay back for the "military aid" many times over
For whatever reason, Republicans are obscuring the fact that "aid" to Ukraine is a lend-lease operation where Ukraine has to repay everything with interest. For reference, Britain only repaid its WW2 debt in 2006. It's not like the government is handing out free money to Ukraine as some would like you to believe.
Sen. John Cornyn says DeSantis' position on Ukraine "raises questions."
"I mean, Gov. DeSantis is a veteran. He's a smart guy. I think he's a been an excellent governor, and I don't understand him saying that Ukraine isn't important to the United States," Cornyn said.
The remarks place DeSantis at odds with the more traditional GOP positioning of former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, who has already entered the race, and former vice president Mike Pence, who is widely anticipated to do so, and more ideologically align him with former president Donald Trump, the most well-known candidate in the 2024 primary.
According to recent surveys, Trump and DeSantis were leading the prospective GOP field. Trump seems to be taking DeSantis seriously. Most of Trump's focus has been on bashing the Florida governor and dragging his name through the mud. He's firing an entire arsenal of mocking nicknames, with Ron DeSactamonious being the most common one. This is Trump being Trump. Nevertheless it seems like DeSantis is getting under his skin somehow.
What do you think about DeSantis' stance on the war in Ukraine?
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