Liz Cheney, the former GOP Congresswoman from Wyoming who when in office until earlier this year was among the only nationally serving Republicans willing to go against Trump on key issues, spoke out in recent days against Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis, a Republican currently serving as the governor of Florida, downplayed any idea of importance to the aid that U.S. authorities are providing Ukraine amid that country’s ongoing war against Russia, whose forces launched an expansive invasion of the smaller nation last February. In comments provided to Tucker Carlson of Fox News, DeSantis, who also has a history in Congress and may soon be running for president, dismissed the war in Ukraine as a “territorial dispute.” In reality, of course, the war is a brutal conflict unilaterally launched by Vladimir Putin and carried out with the decimation of huge areas inside Ukraine and the deaths of what reports suggest have been tens of thousands of civilians at a time, including in areas like the city Mariupol.
“DeSantis is wrong and seems to have forgotten the lessons of Ronald Reagan,” Cheney said. “This is not ‘a territorial dispute.’.. The Ukrainian people are fighting for their freedom. Surrendering to Putin and refusing to defend freedom makes America less safe… Weakness is provocative and American officials who advocate this type of weakness are Putin’s greatest weapon. Abandoning Ukraine would make broader conflict, including with China and other American adversaries, more likely.” Others, like Mitt Romney, have made similar comments.
Romney, a currently serving Republican Senator from Utah, spoke last month to how it was directly in the interests of the United States to bolster global defenses against Putin’s violence, including because of the possibility of some future conflict that could instead be avoided. “It is in America’s interest to support Ukraine,” Romney said. “If Russia can invade, subjugate, and pillage Ukraine with impunity, it will do the same again to others, and a world at war diminishes the security of Americans. An emboldened and expansionist Russia may eventually invade one of our NATO allies, drawing America into war.”
Also in that rhetorical corner is Condoleezza Rice, who served, of course, in the presidential administration of George W. Bush. In a recent television interview, Rice specifically contested the idea — which DeSantis himself expressed, focusing on purported threats from Chinese Communist leadership — that U.S. foreign policy aims are better served elsewhere, like in the Pacific. “And, oh, by the way, for those who would say, oh, we ought to be concentrating on the Indo-Pacific because China is really our adversary, Xi Jinping is telling you what he thinks about that, because he is not only watching what is going on in Ukraine,” Rice told CBS. “According to our intelligence, apparently, he’s even considering getting in on the side of the Russians.”