(Reuters) – Becoming “further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia” is not a vital U.S. national interest, said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is eying running for president, in comments released on Monday.
Public opinion polls show DeSantis as the strongest threat to former President Donald Trump for their party’s nomination for the 2024 presidential contest.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday posted on Twitter responses to a questionnaire from Republican candidates and possible hopefuls on the war in Ukraine.
“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,” DeSantis said in his reply.
“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,” he said.
President Biden’s Democratic administration has provided billions in military support to Ukraine and rallied international partners behind the country that Russia invaded just over a year ago.
Trump, when asked whether the United States should support regime change in Russia, wrote: “No. We should support regime change in the United States, that’s far more important. The Biden administration are the ones who got us into this mess.”
In response, Democratic National Committee National Press Secretary Ammar Moussa said:
“This is just the latest example of how the race for the MAGA (Make America Great Again) base means 2024 Republicans will take exceedingly extreme positions, even if it undermines our allies and democracy.”
(Reporting by Costas Pitas in Los Angeles; additional reporting by Steve Holland in San Diego; Editing by Robert Birsel)