Former Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday pushed back on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' position that the U.S. should not engage in the Ukraine-Russia war.
"Let me be clear," Pence told SiriusXM's Breitbart News Saturday and host Matt Boyle, "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."
"Look, Ronald Reagan said in 1985 ... 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," Pence continued.
"And I think this is just the same fight. 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, who is widely expected to seek the GOP presidential nomination in 2024, earlier this week said said assisting Ukraine as it defends itself from Russia's invasion is not a "vital" national interest.
"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."
"Without question, peace should be the objective. The U.S. should not provide assistance that could require the deployment of American troops or enable Ukraine to engage in offensive operations beyond its borders. F-16s and long-range missiles should therefore be off the table. These moves would risk explicitly drawing the United States into the conflict and drawing us closer to a hot war between the world's two largest nuclear powers. That risk is unacceptable."
Pence also suggested that NATO instigated the war.
"I think all the trouble in this case really started in April 2008 at the NATO Summit in Bucharest, where afterward NATO issued a statement that said Ukraine and Georgia would become part of NATO," Mearsheimer told the New Yorker in March 2022.
"The Russians made it unequivocally clear at the time that they viewed this as an existential threat, and they drew a line in the sand. Nevertheless, what has happened with the passage of time is that we have moved forward to include Ukraine in the West to make Ukraine a Western bulwark on Russia's border. Of course, this includes more than just NATO expansion. NATO expansion is the heart of the strategy, but it includes E.U. expansion as well, and it includes turning Ukraine into a pro-American liberal democracy, and, from a Russian perspective, this is an existential threat."
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