In a sharp contrast to remarks made by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former vice president Mike Pence issued a warning on Friday that it was “false” to believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin would stop annexing Ukraine (R).
On the first anniversary of the war, Pence spoke at the University of Texas at Austin. He emphasized the significance of US assistance for Ukraine and cautioned that a Russian triumph there may draw the US into a bigger fight and put NATO members at risk.
Following the speech, Pence was questioned by NBC News about DeSantis’ opinions. The Florida governor spoke out earlier this week against providing Ukraine with indefinite support and expressed skepticism about the possibility that Moscow would attempt to infiltrate other nations.
On Fox News, DeSantis stated, “The idea of Russia conquering NATO countries and all that and steamrollers, that’s not even close to happening.”
Pence quoted DeSantis as saying, “I would suggest anyone who thinks Vladimir Putin is going to stop in Ukraine is mistaken.”
“We need to understand the real long-term threat of renewed Russian aggression in Europe,” he continued. “And I don’t think it will stop there.”
Pence said in his speech on Friday that Putin bears responsibility for the war and warned that “there should be no place in the Republican Party leadership for apologists for Putin”.
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“Make no mistake: this is not America’s war. But as we falter in our commitment to helping the people of Ukraine defend their freedom, perhaps our sons and daughters will soon be called upon to defend ours,” Pence said. “If we surrender to the siren song of those in this country who argue America has no interest in the cause of liberty, history teaches that we may soon be putting our own in jeopardy.”