On Tuesday (March 14), Republican Senators broke with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) over remarks about the U.S. defending Ukraine against Russian aggression not being “vital.”
Ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, Republican Senator Roger Wicker (Miss.), shared that he “completely disagree[s] with [DeSantis’] comments.”
Nearly half a dozen Wicker GOP colleagues also disagreed with DeSantis’s remarks.
DeSantis, a possible GOP Presidential candidate who many believe will be former President Donald Trump’s primary competition, has also emerged as a frontman for the GOP’s populist wing seeking to retract from global affairs and those that want to preserve the post-World War II order.
Republican Senator Kevin Cramer (N.D.) shared that he wouldn’t want “to send a signal to [Russian President] Vladimir Putin” that the U.S. isn’t concerned about Putin, adding that he didn’t want to send a signal to U.S. allies “that you’re on your own.”
Cramer added that doing that would “lead to a nuclear proliferation” that the U.S. had been avoiding for decades, adding that ignoring the Ukraine-Russia war wouldn’t be in the nation’s “best interest.”
Cramer, who praised DeSantis, shared that he wasn’t surprised by the Republican Governor’s remarks, justifying the remarks as DeSantis navigating a complicated dynamic with the GOP’s base.
Cramer emphasized that the GOP’s base is “restless,” adding that if the Governor intends to run for President, DeSantis “probably needs to speak to that base.”
The North Dakotan Republican shared that his comments didn’t mean that the remarks about Ukraine didn’t reflect the Florida Governor’s “position,” adding that he hopes DeSantis’s opinions “evolve over time.”