Former Vice President Mike Pence is the latest Republican heavyweight to divorce himself from Ron DeSantis‘ foreign policy vision.
During an appearance on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Saturday, Pence rejected DeSantis’ framing of the Russian war on Ukraine as a mere “territorial dispute,” opting to frame it as a “Russian invasion.”
“Let me be clear. What’s going on in Ukraine today is not a territorial dispute. It’s a Russian invasion. Russia attempted to redraw international lines by force under the Bush administration in Georgia, under the Obama administration in Crimea. And now the Russian tanks rolled in to invade and overrun a free and democratic nation in Ukraine. And this is a moment where America needs to step up and continue to step up and be the leader of the free world,” Pence said.
The former Vice President then suggested the DeSantis view was out of step with historic Republican orthodoxy.
“Look, Ronald Reagan said in 1985 words in his State of the Union address that were later called the Reagan Doctrine. It was this idea that if you’re willing to fight the communists in your country, with your soldiers, we’ll give you the means to fight them there so we don’t have to fight them here. And that was part of the philosophy of American leadership in the world that set into motion the forces that brought the collapse of the Soviet Union map. And I think this is just the same fight,” Pence said.
Pence continued on his Reaganesque theme, with soaring language reminiscent of the Cold War era.
“This is a moment where the arsenal of democracy needs to be standing with those freedom fighters in Ukraine, giving them the resources that they need to repel the Russian invasion. Now, the Biden administration has been slow. I mean, President Biden said in his State of the Union address that we’re there as long as it takes. But I want to say to all your listeners, it shouldn’t take that long.”
DeSantis contended Monday that “while the U.S. has many vital national interests … becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them.” And since then, he has drawn fire from many other Republicans, including home state Sen. Marco Rubio.
During a Tuesday interview on The Hugh Hewitt Show, Rubio said he didn’t understand DeSantis’ political calculus in the statement DeSantis offered to Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
“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 can’t speak to that. I can’t compare that to something else he did or said over the last few years because he doesn’t deal with it every day,” Rubio said.
“It’s not a territorial dispute … any more than it would be a territorial dispute if the United States decided that it wants to take over Canada or take over the Bahamas. Just because someone claims something doesn’t mean it belongs to them.”
Other potential rivals in the chase for the Republican Presidential nomination have also pilloried DeSantis.
During an interview on the Fox News Channel, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu firmly rejected Gov. DeSantis’ claim that the war in Ukraine is a “territorial dispute” with limited national interest for the U.S.
“Well, this is not a territorial dispute by any means. This is one nation invading a sovereign nation, and everybody needs to understand it is in our very direct national security interest to make sure that Ukraine wins that war in Russia,” Sununu told host Bill Hemmer.
Former United Nations envoy Nikki Haley took a different tack. She said Tuesday that DeSantis was ripping off his recalibrated position from Donald Trump.
“President Trump is right when he says Gov. DeSantis is copying him — first in his style, then on entitlement reform and now on Ukraine. I have a different style than President Trump, and while I agree with him on most policies, I do not on those. Republicans deserve a choice, not an echo.”
In that instance, Haley agreed with Trump, who asserted DeSantis was “following what I am saying. It is a flip-flop. He was totally different. Whatever I want, he wants.”
Earl Pitts American
March 18, 2023 at 7:59 pm
Good evening America,
Mike Pence the Lincoln Project candidate who cant win but it is hoped that he will get enough votes to gurantee the Democrats win. Then and only then will the Lincoln Project by happy.
Stupid Lincoln Project.
The most truth you have been told in 5 months.
Thank you America,
Earl Pitts American
March 19, 2023 at 8:49 am
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Earl Pitts American
March 19, 2023 at 9:32 am
Good Morning America,
Thank you Jax. Back in the day I was for entertainment but things have gotten so twisted, anti American, anti God, anti hetero, anti this, anti that, anti the other thing that I was forced out of retirement. Earl is back Merica!
Thanks again Jax,
Earl Pitts American
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March 20, 2023 at 1:05 pm
No way does the Reagan Doctrine apply here. Russia has invaded a corrupt nation that is not a member of NATO, led by a corrupt leader who refuses to negotiate, and who continuously lays guilt trips on NATO nations to endlessly fund this war with no path to victory, such that NATO now finds itself in a limited war with Russia that, if it continues, will lead to the U.S. sending in troops and our guys dying for nothing. Current funding of this war does nothing to protect the Unites States from having to fight Russia on our own soil, but continued involvement certainly risks an all-out World War with catastrophic consequences. Who benefits from our involvement in a war between two corrupt regimes? Only the military-industrial complex. The American people are not on board with this – they are sick of these endless wars, and tone-deaf politicians like Pence and Rubio need to start paying attention.