Republican Senators Push Back Against DeSantis on Ukraine View

Republican senators are pushing back against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis after he declared that defending Ukraine against Russian aggression is not in the United States’ [1]vital[1] national interests.[0]

DeSantis submitted a statement to Fox News host Tucker Carlson Monday night, saying that the war in Ukraine was not among the United States’ [1]many vital national interests,[1] and that [1]becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them.[1]

He also cautioned against providing assistance to Ukraine that could require the deployment of American troops or enable Ukraine to engage in offensive operations beyond its borders, citing the risk of [1]explicitly drawing the United States into the conflict and drawing us closer to a hot war between the world’s two largest nuclear powers.[1]

The Biden administration has provided billions in military support to Ukraine and rallied international partners behind the country that Russia invaded just over a year ago.[3]

John Thune, Republican Senator from South Dakota and Minority Whip, expressed a different opinion than the one held by DeSantis when asked about the latter. Our party members have a wide range of opinions.[0][1]

Sen. John Thune from South Dakota, who is the second in command among Senate Republicans, expressed his disagreement with DeSantis, though he recognized that his opinion may not be shared by the majority of his party. Thune noted that DeSantis’ perspective is shared by many Republicans across the nation and speculated that there could be other candidates in 2024 who share the same viewpoint.[4]

Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla.[0]Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, disagreed with Ron DeSantis’ opinion that Russia’s conflict in Ukraine was a “territorial dispute” between two parties.[5]

In an interview with Hugh Hewitt Tuesday, Rubio stated that it is not a territorial dispute in the same way it would be if the United States decided to invade Canada or occupy the Bahamas.[6] One should not assume ownership of something simply because they state they possess it.[6]

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also weighed in, saying “reports about the death of Republican support for strong American leadership in the world have been greatly exaggerated.[7]

0. “Republican senators push back on DeSantis’ Ukraine remarks” NBC News, 15 Mar. 2023,

1. “MSNBC host rages at DeSantis for calling Ukraine invasion ‘territorial dispute’: ‘National security risk'” Fox News, 14 Mar. 2023,

2. “DeSantis must show leadership on issues like Ukraine to win the White House” New York Post , 14 Mar. 2023,

3. “Further US involvement in Ukraine is not vital national interest” The Jerusalem Post, 14 Mar. 2023,

4. “The two biggest 2024 Republican names would mean bad news for Ukraine” CNN, 15 Mar. 2023,

5. “Rubio rejects DeSantis opposition to Ukraine aid as Republican split grows – as it happened” The Guardian US, 15 Mar. 2023,

6. “These Republicans have pushed back against DeSantis’s Ukraine comments” The Hill, 15 Mar. 2023,

7. “Ron DeSantis says backing Ukraine is not in the U.S. interest, a sign of a GOP divided” NPR, 14 Mar. 2023,

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