DeSantis Tries Different Spin On Ukraine
The following is part of The Moscow Primary, an irregular series on yours truly’s speculations regarding the views of the 2024 Republican nomination contest from most important player: the Kremlin.
It had not been a good week and a half for the DeSantis for President non-yet-campaign. The Governor did his best to make nice to the Kremlin, only to have Donald Trump out-appease him. All the while, Quinnipiac and Morning Consult joined YouGov in showing Republican movement away from DeSantis and toward Trump.
So DeSantis tried again on the subject with Piers Morgan (New York Post), giving us this word salad:
If I could snap my fingers, I’d give it back to Ukraine 100%. But the reality is what is America’s involvement in terms of escalating with more weapons, and certainly ground troops I think would be a mistake. So, that was the point I was trying to make but Russia was wrong to invade. They were wrong to take Crimea.
In other words, Putin was wrong to invade Ukraine, but anything further to help Ukraine kick him out would be “a mistake.”
DeSantis is clearly hoping to take this fork in the road. In his view, the right words can keep the shrinking pro-democracy Republicans at bay, while Moscow will still appreciate his unwillingness to actually do anything on Ukraine’s behalf. He’s looking to have his cake and eat it, too.
That can work with some political issues, but not when you’re up against the loudest and most boisterous appeaser of all (Trump).