Ron DeSantis thinks Vladimir Putin is a ‘bad guy,’ but says Russian invasion of Ukraine is only about ‘territory’

Tucker Desantis
'And the dispute at this point or the war at this point is not whether Ukraine's government is going to fall.'

Ron DeSantis continues to recalibrate his position on the Ukraine War.

During an interview Friday at Iowa’s Family Leadership Summit with Tucker Carlson, DeSantis took issue with Carlson saying he changed his position from telling Carlson that the Russian invasion was a simple “territorial dispute,” rejecting Carlson’s restatement of DeSantis’ position as changing his view “to describe Putin as a war criminal and say that it was central to America’s foreign policy.”

“So the last part I did not say,” DeSantis said, leaving it unclear whether Carlson meant the “war criminal” statement (which he made in March while walking back his statement to Carlson) or the idea that defending Ukraine was “central to America’s foreign policy.”

DeSantis reiterated his critique of the Joe Biden administration’s “blank check” policy in Ukraine, though he stopped short of telling Carlson that Putin was a “war criminal,” describing him somewhat more amorphously as a “bad guy.”

“You dissent from the DC foreign policy elite, they then try to smear you and say, ‘Oh, you must be for Putin.’ I’ve always thought Putin is a bad guy. I still think he’s a bad guy. But that’s a separate question for a leader who’s got to look at the world in very clear-eyed glasses. You know that it’s not all peaches and cream out there and you have to make a judgment about what’s in America’s national interest,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis reaffirmed the “territorial dispute” framing soon thereafter.

“And the dispute at this point or the war at this point is not whether Ukraine’s government is going to fall. They’re fighting over territory on the far eastern part of the country between Russia and Ukraine. And that’s kind of where this is at. So the question is OK, how do you get that to where we can stop this and also from our national interest,” DeSantis said.

A.G. Gancarski

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


  • Shelby justice

    July 14, 2023 at 7:39 pm

    If that is what Ron thinks…. He is not ready for the White House!

  • PeterH

    July 15, 2023 at 1:52 am

    DeSantis just can’t admit that he’s horribly informed on foreign policy. Americans should be worried about his advisers or ….. maybe DeSantis isn’t listening to advisors.

    Sound familiar?

  • Dont Say FLA

    July 15, 2023 at 10:27 am

    What is that broadcast symbol at bottom left of the full view? It resembles the Al Jazerra channel’s symbol (to my Arabic-ignorant eyes) but I am sure the so-called “Family Leadership Summit” would never broadcast on Al Jazerra. Al Jazerra is far too moderate for their messaging.

    • Dan trapper

      July 16, 2023 at 4:32 pm

      I can hear it already. Ron DeSantis you just lost the Republican nominee for president United States what are you going to do now? Well. I guess Disney World’s out of the question

  • Sergio

    July 15, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    Land grab? So was Hitler’s. Look what happened.

  • My Take

    July 15, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    DeSSgustus — Putin stooge . . . or just Putin dupe?

  • Redkem1

    July 15, 2023 at 11:27 pm

    DeSantis & Trump want to be dictators just like Putin!! It is not just teritory to Putin..Ukraine dared to leave Russia & he thought he could go in & take them back without a fight& punish them for leaving!! He was shocked when they fought back. He hates their leader & that he got support from US & other countries! He doesn’t care about the people, because they dared to leave Russia! So, it is about the territory & the people!!! DeSantis doesn’t understand anything about foreign policy! He also talks out both sides of his mouth according to his audience. I live in FL & can’t believe how much like Trump he really is, but he is smarter!!! They want more power!! Look at all the laws they sign, with a huge, smug smile on their faces!!! They use Executive Power more than any other President or Governor ever has before them!!!!

    • My Take

      July 15, 2023 at 11:37 pm

      On the one haad I look forward to ejoynig his misery in two years of a lame-duck loserdom internal exile in Tallahassee.

      But then I thnk of the additinal damage he can do to Florida.

Comments are closed.


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