‘So I never changed anything’: Ron DeSantis continues to explain Ukraine position

desantis, ron - in front of an american flag
The Governor continues to re-frame his foreign policy take.

The Florida Governor continues to explain his position on the war in Ukraine.

In yet another friendly interview, Ron DeSantis attempted to clarify to Eric Bolling of Newsmax what his position actually is on the conflict.

“So I never changed anything,” DeSantis said.

He contended critics are “talking about when President Donald Trump was in. Weapons were sent when I was in Congress and I supported it. But that was to deter Russia from invading and, you know what, they didn’t invade for many years.”

“And that only broke down when Joe Biden got in. And I think there’s a variety of reasons for that. But I think part of the reason was the failure in Afghanistan. I think Vladimir Putin believed he could get away with more because he saw how weak Biden was,” DeSantis affirmed.

“That’s a much different situation to now being in a situation where you have Ukraine and Russia fighting over kind of the border lands there in the far eastern part of Ukraine and over places like Crimea. And my position on that is, you know, I care more about securing our own border in the United States than I do about the Russia-Ukraine border.”

“And it seems like the establishment … they ignore the problems that we have here at home as Americans,” DeSantis said, citing the Mexican border as a situation “costing American lives” and allowing “suspected terrorists” to enter the United States.

“You also have to ask if they’re constantly talking about this being something that we have to have an open-ended blank check policy for.” DeSantis said, suggesting that more gas pipelines and drilling for more oil domestically would “weaken Putin.”

The Governor also noted the proxy war in Ukraine, “essentially a stalemate,” is depleting “our current weapons stockpiles here in the United States.”

“And the fact of the matter is they’re declining and so that impacts our ability to respond to threats in other places in the world,” DeSantis noted.

“So I think some of those folks are not really supporting a stronger America, they’re weakening us here at home and they’re making it more difficult for us to be able to do things like check the influence of China abroad.”

The Newsmax interview is the second time this week DeSantis tried to add more context to his position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which he originally deemed a “territorial dispute” and not one of America’s “vital national interests” in a statement provided to Tucker Carlson.

“Well, I think it’s been mischaracterized. Obviously, Russia invaded (last year) — that was wrong. They invaded Crimea and took that in 2014 — that was wrong.” DeSantis told Piers Morgan, before seeming to contextualize Russia’s claim to Ukrainian territory.

“What I’m referring to is where the fighting is going on now, which is that eastern border region Donbas, and then Crimea, and you have a situation where Russia has had that. I don’t think legitimately, but they had. There’s a lot of ethnic Russians there. So, that’s some difficult fighting and that’s what I was referring to and so it wasn’t that I thought Russia had a right to that, and so if I should have made that more clear, I could have done it,” DeSantis added.

Despite conceding his most recent position was muddled, if only by bad interpretation, the Governor reiterated his stance that conflict essentially is not worth a more active American military presence.

“I just don’t think that’s a sufficient interest for us to escalate more involvement. I would not want to see American troops involved there. But the idea that I think somehow Russia was justified (in invading) — that’s nonsense.

“I think they have the right to that territory,” he added, referring to Ukraine. “If I could snap my fingers, I’d give it back to Ukraine 100%. But the reality is what is America’s involvement in terms of escalating with more weapons, and certainly ground troops I think would be a mistake. So, that was the point I was trying to make, but Russia was wrong to invade. They were wrong to take Crimea.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • PeterH

    March 24, 2023 at 12:22 am

    Hey Rhonda….you need a better spin machine.

  • Flippity Floppy

    March 24, 2023 at 12:50 am

    Would you like some pudding with those waffles Ron?

  • cassandra

    March 24, 2023 at 10:48 am

    Explaining over and over what he *really* meant makes Tiny D look so weak and whiny. Not at all decisive or powerful. World leaders are laughing at Tiny D.

    Why is he hiding on Fox and Newsmax? Trump goes to diners, jokes with people, kisses babies. Tiny D hides from the people of Florida and USA. What’s Tiny D so afraid of?

  • Lex

    March 24, 2023 at 3:07 pm

    Foreign policy is always messy to publicly talk about at an intelligent level. There is no question that Biden screwed up all of getting out of Afghanistan. But when you get to most foreign policy, some of it it is public and some of it is private. Information changes quickly and is not always for public consumption. The fact is that its probably hard to sum up any intelligent person’s take on the Ukraine War. Its also unfair to think foreign policies won’t change over time.

    On Ukraine, the issue is hard because the Biden Administration is so ineffectual that even if you know the proper course to fix it. You need a dysfunctional Biden Administration to implement the fix.

    I stand by the principle that you cannot reward Putin for acts of aggression by conceding land. But Biden screwed up his messaging and essentially gave Putin a green light to enter Ukraine. (Somehow, people forgot that blunder that I believe the administration attempted to walk back immediately) . I don’t want to let Biden write a blank check to Ukraine (where Biden’s family has been receiving “massive amounts of money for ?”

    Mismanagement made the war. Its difficult to see how this administration could implement the proper strategy if it were dropped in its lap. In such a case, how can you even recommend a course of action other than maybe resignation of Biden.

Comments are closed.


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