Nikki Haley: DeSantis Is Copying Trump's Ukraine Position

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 03/14/2023
Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley criticized Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) for maintaining that additional involvement in Ukraine does not advance national security.

Haley, a two-term governor of South Carolina and a former ambassador to the UN under President Donald Trump, criticized DeSantis for adopting the same stance on policy and reiterated her claim that backing Ukraine is in the interests of American national security.

"President Trump is correct to claim that Governor DeSantis is modeling himself after him, first in terms of style, then with regard to entitlement reform, and now with regard to Ukraine. Even though I concur with President Trump on the majority of his policies, I do not share his approach. Republicans should have a choice, not just an echo, according to Haley.

Her statements follow Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson's requests on 2024 aspirants to answer a questionnaire about their positions on Ukraine. When he claimed that it would not be in America's best interests to "get more embroiled in a territorial conflict between Ukraine and Russia," DeSantis stirred some controversy. Trump expressed a similar viewpoint.

On his broadcast on Monday, Carlson read the positions while criticizing potential contenders including former vice president Mike Pence and former governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, both of whom supported U.S. backing for Ukraine.

Tuesday, Haley made her responses public and claimed that the Ukrainian war is relevant to concerns about national security.

"The Russian government is a strong dictatorship that is openly hostile to the United States. It is aiming to violently expand into a neighboring pro-American nation by force, unlike past anti-American governments, she claimed. America would benefit more from a Ukrainian victory than a Russian one, particularly by preventing a wider conflict.

She went on to say that the goal in Ukraine should be to prevent a Russian military takeover and that sending American troops or blank checks to Kiev were off limits. Moreover, Haley stated that she was opposed to a Russian regime change.

DeSantis' views on regime change and US goals in Ukraine were broadly shared, notwithstanding his disagreements on whether they were in the national security interest.

"Peace should without a doubt be the goal. The United States shouldn't offer support that may necessitate the deployment of American forces or allow Ukraine to conduct offensive actions outside of its borders, he said. "A program of'regime change' in Russia would neither cease the war's bloodshed nor usher in an American ally."

While complaining that "Europe isn't assisting itself," which is "extremely unfair to us," Trump framed the U.S. goal in Ukraine as attempting to "help and secure Europe." Although he highlighted that if he were president, the "terrible war would cease in 24 hours, or less," he also stressed that his decision to limit help to Ukraine would depend on a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Marco Rubio (R-FL), among others, appeared to disagree with DeSantis, Trump, and other 2024 contenders on Ukraine, stressing the significance of defying Putin.

According to the most recent RealClearPolitics polling average, Haley is currently running in fourth place among the announced and possible GOP primary opponents in 2024. Trump is in the lead, and DeSantis, who has not yet declared his campaign, is following.

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