During an address at the University of Texas at Austin on Friday (February 25), former Vice President Mike Pence warned that it was unlikely that Russian President Vladimir Putin would stop by trying to take over Ukraine — a contrast to comments made by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R).
While giving his address at the University on the war’s first anniversary, Pence defended U.S. support of Ukraine, arguing its importance.
The former Vice President cautioned that if Russia is victorious in its pursuit against Ukraine, it could draw the U.S. into a broader conflict that could threaten its NATO allies’ sovereignty.
Earlier in the week, DeSantis shared that he opposed open-ended support for Ukraine, questioning whether Putin would even attempt to invade other countries.
During a Fox News interview, DeSantis stated, “The fear of Russia going into NATO countries… and steamrolling… that has not even come close to happening.”
When Pence was asked about those comments in an interview with NBC News, he shared an opposing view, saying, “anyone that thinks that Vladimir Putin will stop at Ukraine is wrong.”
He added that the U.S. needs to understand the “real long-term threat” is “renewed Russian aggression in Europe,” asserting that “it will not stop there.”
During his speech, Pence took greater aim at DeSantis, explaining that Putin is responsible for the war and cautioning against leaders in the GOP being “apologists for Putin.”
He acknowledged that the war in Ukraine “is not America’s war” but warned that if “we falter in our commitment to providing… support to help [the] people of Ukraine to defend their freedom,” the price would be American “sons and daughters being” called upon to defend [the nation’s freedom].”