2024 Republicans Race to Out-MAGA Each Other On Ukraine
March 14, 2023
As the race for the MAGA base escalates, Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump used Tucker Carlson’s platform to side with Putin over Ukraine and democracy. With the 2024 GOP field competing to see who can tout the most extreme agenda, Republicans have chosen to go as far as undermining democracy and our allies to out-MAGA each other.
DeSantis and Trump are leading the pack when it comes to an extreme agenda against Ukraine, using Tucker Carlson’s most recent questionnaire to 2024 Republican candidates as their chance to rail against supporting democracy in Ukraine and side with Putin.
New York Times: “Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida has sharply broken with Republicans who are determined to defend Ukraine against Russia’s invasion, saying in a statement made public on Monday night that protecting the European nation’s borders is not a vital U.S. interest and that policymakers should instead focus attention at home.”
New York Times: “Mr. Trump repeated a frequent riff, saying that ‘both sides are weary and ready to make a deal’ and that the ‘death and destruction must end now.’ Mr. Trump has already said he would let Russia ‘take over’ parts of Ukraine in a negotiated deal.”
Last month, Ron DeSantis appeared on “Fox & Friends” to undermine the U.S.’s effort in Ukraine – completely flip-flopping from his support for Ukraine as a member of Congress.
CNN: “DeSantis on Monday criticized American aid to Ukraine as an ‘open-ended blank check’ and questioned whether the United States should be engaged in the Russian conflict at all.”
Michael Scherer, Washington Post: “Ron DeSantis, Feb. 20, on Russian threat to NATO: ‘That has not even come close to happening.’ Dmitry Medvedev, Feb 24, on goal of war: ‘to push back the borders that threaten our country as far as possible, even if they are the borders of Poland.’”
CNN: “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis once strongly supported arming Ukraine to fight Russia, urging then-President Barack Obama to do so as a deterrent to Russian aggression in Eastern Europe – a position at odds with his statements this week questioning the United States’ involvement in the conflict.”
Donald Trump’s record of siding with Putin is long and consistent. He has repeatedly bragged about his “good relationship” with Vladmir Putin, and how he trusted Putin more than his own intelligence community.
Donald Trump: “I actually had a very good relationship.”
Washington Post: “‘Genius,’ ‘Savvy’: Trump reacts to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine exactly as you’d expect”
The Hill: “‘I said, ‘“How smart is that?’” He’s going to go in and be a peacekeeper,’ added Trump, who regularly praised and sought close ties with Putin during his time in office. ‘That’s the strongest peace force. We could use that on our southern border. That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. There were more army tanks than I’ve ever seen. They’re going to keep peace, all right.’”
Donald Trump: “Putin is now saying, ‘It’s independent,’ a large section of Ukraine. I said, ‘How smart is that?’ And he’s gonna go in and be a peacekeeper … Here’s a guy who’s very savvy.”
At the beginning of the conflict last year, Mike Pompeo praised Putin as “talented,” “savvy,” and a “capable statesman.”
Kansas City Star: “Of all the former secretaries of state under Democratic and Republican presidents, only one is taking to cable news and social media during a moment of peril in Europe to praise Russian President Vladimir Putin and chastise the Biden administration. Mike Pompeo has lauded the Russian strongman over the past month as a ‘talented,’ ‘savvy,’ ‘capable statesman,’ offering his praise during a slew of interviews after his political action committee spent $30,000 on improving his performance in media appearances.”