HomeUS News updateRepublican senators push back on DeSantis' Ukraine remarks

Republican senators push back on DeSantis’ Ukraine remarks

WASHINGTON – Republican senators on Tuesday broke with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over comments that defending Ukraine against Russian aggression is not a “vital” interest of the US.

“I strongly disagree with his comments,” said Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., ranking member of the Armed Services Committee.

About a half-dozen of Wicker’s GOP allies voiced varying degrees of opposition to DeSantis’ remarks on Fox News Monday night.

The high-profile comments by a potential 2024 presidential candidate, who many GOP elites expect to be the main alternative to former President Donald Trump, seek to preserve the post-World War II order and protect the party amid intensify the conflict within. The right-wing populist wing is demanding a retreat from global affairs.

“I sure hate to send a signal [Russian President] Vladimir Putin that we are not concerned about them, and I would certainly hate to send this signal to other allies around the world that you are not alone. Because it could lead to nuclear proliferation, which we have been avoiding for decades. So, no, I think it’s in our best interest,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer, R.D. told NBC News.

Cramer, who otherwise praised DeSantis, said he was “not overly surprised” at the governor’s remarks because he is navigating a complicated dynamic with the party’s base.

Cramer said, “We have a base that is restless, and if he is running for president, he probably needs to talk to that base a little bit.” And that’s not to say that it’s not his position, but I think if he’s the President of the United States and he has all that power then hopefully he’s informed enough on the details to make a decision. . But I also hope that this situation will develop a little.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, rejected DeSantis’ view that Russia’s war in Ukraine was a “territorial dispute” between the two sides.

Rubio told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, “It’s not a territorial dispute in the sense that – if the United States decides it wants to invade Canada or annex the Bahamas, it’s a territorial dispute.” Will happen.” “Just because someone claims it doesn’t mean it’s theirs. It’s an invasion.

“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,” Rubio said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, RS.C., said DeSantis’ comments reflected a “misunderstanding of the situation”.

“This is not a territorial conflict. This is a war of aggression,” he said, adding that DeSantis “has been a great governor, but in my opinion, if you don’t get Ukraine right, it’s time for Putin to get it before it’s a big war.” There’s a chance to stop.” – And China is watching.

Senate Minority Whip John Thune, R.S.D., said, “I have a different perspective on that,” when pressed about DeSantis. “As you know, there is a diversity of views within the members of our party.”

Many Republicans said that protecting Ukraine was ultimately about protecting the US and its allies in Europe.

“They are a vital interest,” said Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala. “We’re basically protecting NATO and Europe.” But he said there is a legitimate debate about how far the US can go in helping Ukraine. “We’re broke,” he said. “We’ve got a better plan.”

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La. said: “I don’t want America to be the policeman of the world, but I don’t want Vladimir Putin or [Chinese President] Xi Jinping will also be the policeman of the world. I have never viewed our Ukraine aid as charity. I have seen it as a form of self-preservation.

Other Republicans said the issue would spark debate in the primary.

“This is something that I think any one of the individuals interested in serving as the next President of the United States of America should really do their best to get as much information as possible before deciding to make up their mind on this particular issue.” is needed,” Sen. Mike Rounds, R.S.D., told reporters.

“So, we’ll see how it goes. But we have a number of individuals who are looking into the 2024 race, I think, and we’ll find out whether the rest of them feel the same way.” .

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