Florida governor and Republican presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis joined MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Thursday in an interview in which he was pressed on whether he supports continued funding for Ukraine.
Co-host Joe Scarborough mentioned an aid bill that President Joe Biden supports that includes funding for both Israel and Ukraine among other things, saying “It sounds like a pretty good bill for Republicans and Democrats.”
“I wanted to ask you though, specifically about Ukraine,” Scarborough said to DeSantis in the interview, video of which you can watch above. “How should the United States move forward on funding for Ukraine?”
DeSantis decided not to start with Scarborough’s line of Ukraine questioning, instead pointing out what he perceives as flaws in the bill regarding the U.S. southern border and lack of deterrence efforts targeted at China, which he sees as “the top threat to this country.”
Finally, DeSantis got to Ukraine saying, “I think Russia is hostile to the United States but I think their threat, Europe is a more pressing part of their threat. No blank check on Ukraine.”
“You’re saying no blank check and I agree with you and I think a lot of Americans agree with you that they shouldn’t get a blank check,” replied Scarborough. “But do you support the continued funding though for Ukrainians, and if so for how long?”
“So I would not do what Biden’s doing which is funding pensions for bureaucrats over there, pet funding salaries, funding small business stuff,” DeSantis responded.
“We were supportive of the defensive weaponry to be able to prevent Putin from taking over the country,” the Florida governor continued. “So as president, I’m going to leverage resources. I’m going to get the Europeans to do more.”
DeSantis noted how much the U.S. has already provided toward the war effort in Ukraine, however, Biden “hasn’t really been able to articulate a coherent strategy about, ‘How does this come to an end?’” DeSantis said.
“I think our interest is bringing it to an end in a way that keeps Russia in a box,” DeSantis said. “But it’s not going to have us spend hundreds of billions of dollars for an outcome that’s not much different.”
The Florida governor said as president he would also “send support that would bring it to a conclusion.” DeSantis claimed that the current administration is blindly funding a war with no conclusion in sight.
“There’s a lot of Republicans in Congress that are asking those questions, and I think those questions deserve answers before they green-light another $60 billion,” DeSantis said.