Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) was sharply criticized by MSNBC host Katie Phang following his comments that Ukraine is not a vital national security concern for the United States.
The MSNBC host described the potential 2024 Republican candidate for president this way after he answered a questionnaire from Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
Tucker Carlson requested that potential GOP presidential candidates clarify their positions on U.S. aid to Ukraine.
Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, Kristi Noem, Greg Abbott, Tim Scott, and Chris Christie provided responses.
Here's what they said. pic.twitter.com/zT5OvNAAxS
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) March 14, 2023
“If DeSantis thinks that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a ‘territorial dispute,’ he is a national security risk to the United States,” she wrote on Twitter.
Phang was not the only figure to criticize the potential 2024 hopeful. DeSantis’ comment was criticized by potential Republican presidential rivals former Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) and former Vice President Mike Pence.
Pence, who is not a favorite among conservatives, said in an interview that “the war going on in Ukraine right now is not a territorial dispute.”
DeSantis stated that further American involvement in the war between Russia and Ukraine threatens to bring an “unacceptable” risk toward nuclear war.
“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,” the Florida Republican wrote.
DeSantis stated that the larger concerns for American foreign policy include checking the “military power of the Chinese Communist Party” as well as the “crisis of readiness within our military.”
The Florida governor described the current war as a “territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia” that is not in the United States’ vital national interest.
“Without question, peace should be the objective,” he wrote.
The governor wrote to Carlson that the United States should not deploy any American forces to the theatre or “enable Ukraine to engage in offensive operations beyond its borders,” such as the transfer of F-16 fighter jets or long-range missiles.
DeSantis stated that an American policy of “regime change” would greatly increase the risks of further conflict, and make the “use of nuclear weapons more likely.”
Even if Putin stepped down, according to DeSantis, there would not be a “pro-American” figure leading Moscow.
The governor wrote that President Joe Biden’s policies have pushed Russia and China closer together and “further empowered Russia’s energy-dominated economy and Putin’s war machine at Americans’ expense.” He also called for further scrutiny of American aid to Ukraine.
DeSantis’ recent comments were similar to his February comments that the United States cannot provide a “blank check” to the eastern European country.