When asked about his view on the Ukraine-Russia conflict, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), a potential 2024 presidential candiate, said "getting further entangled in the territorial dispute" is not among the "vital national interests" of the United States.
DeSantis expanded on this view in response to questions from the Tucker Carlson Tonight program on the Fox News Channel. Carlson had sent identical questions to all the declared and potential 2024 GOP candidates, and he revealed their answers on his March 13 broadcast.
The Florida governor said, “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.
"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."
DeSantis further said that "F-16s and long range missiles" for Ukraine should "be off the table because it could draw the U.S. directly into a war with Russia, which has multiple nuclear weapons.
He also denounced the idea of "regime change" in Russia, which the Biden administration and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) support. Such a policy only raises the "stakes of the conflict," said DeSantis. He added that if Putin were removed, it is highly likely that his successor would be "even more ruthless."
DeSantis also explained how support for Ukraine by Biden and much of Congress has emboldened Communist China.
"The Biden administration’s policies have driven Russia into a de facto alliance with China," said DeSantis. "Because China has not and will not abide by the embargo, Russia has increased its foreign revenues while China benefits from cheaper fuel."
"Coupled with his intentional depletion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and support for the Left’s Green New Deal, Biden has further empowered Russia’s energy-dominated economy and Putin’s war machine at Americans’ expense," said the governor.
In conclusion, DeSantis said, "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."
Responses of all the Republicans who answered Carlson can be read on Twitter. The Republicans who did not answer the questions are Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo, Asa Hutchinson, John Bolton and Chris Sununu.