(Bloomberg) — Former Vice President Mike Pence gave a full-throated protection of help to Ukraine and criticized these in his get together who’ve praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, exposing a fault line within the rising 2024 Republican race between conventional GOP hawks and people skeptical of US help for Kyiv.
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“Whereas some in my get together have taken a considerably totally different view, let me be clear: There might be no room within the management of the Republican Get together for apologists for Putin,” Pence mentioned Friday on the College of Texas at Austin Clements Middle for Nationwide Safety. “There can solely be room for champions of freedom.”
Pence mentioned Putin was solely guilty for the conflict in Ukraine. Whereas Pence didn’t point out his onetime boss and potential 2024 rival Donald Trump by identify, the previous president repeatedly praised Putin’s technique earlier than the invasion, together with calling the Russian chief a “genius.”
Pence referred to as for the US and allies to ramp up sanctions on Moscow and proceed offering army tools and humanitarian assist for Ukraine as Russia’s invasion enters its second 12 months.
“If we give up to the siren tune of these on this nation who argue that America has little interest in freedom’s trigger, historical past teaches we might quickly ship our personal into hurt’s approach to defend our freedom and the liberty of countries in our alliance,” he mentioned.
Former Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who like Pence is contemplating a run for the 2024 nomination, and former South Carolina Governor and Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who launched her marketing campaign final week, have supported US help to Ukraine.
However Trump, who launched his candidacy in November, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who’s extensively anticipated to affix the race, have mentioned President Joe Biden needs to be extra involved about home issues resembling unlawful immigration and drug smuggling on the southern border.
A Washington Publish-ABC Information ballot launched on Feb. 3 discovered that half of Republicans assume the US is doing an excessive amount of to help Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, with solely 28% saying it’s the correct amount and 13% saying it’s too little.
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