Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) offered a harsh rebuke of Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling him a “war criminal” days after earlier comments about the Russian-Ukrainian war sparked controversy.
“I think he is a war criminal,” DeSantis said during an interview with Fox Nation’s “Piers Morgan Uncensored.”
“I do think that he should be held accountable,” DeSantis added.
The criticism of Putin comes just after the Florida governor and potential Republican presidential candidate faced sharp backlash from inside his own party for asserting last week that the war in Ukraine is a “territorial dispute” and saying support of the war was not in the U.S.’s “vital national interest.”
Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), for example, said that if someone did not understand the threat posed by Russia then they “have seriously miscalculated one of the most obvious nexuses in the world.”
In the new interview, DeSantis took sharper aim at Putin, telling Morgan the Russian president has “grand ambitions” without the military capability to fully realize them.
“I think he’s got grand ambitions. I think he’s hostile to the United States,” DeSantis said. “But I think the thing that we’ve seen is he doesn’t have the conventional capability to realize his ambitions. And so he’s basically a gas station with a bunch of nuclear weapons.”
The International Criminal Court (ICC) last week issued an arrest warrant for Putin, accusing him of war crimes for the deportation of Ukrainian children. But neither Russia or the U.S. recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC, meaning it is unlikely Putin will actually face arrest. The arrest warrant also came after a United Nations report last week concluded that it was likely Russia had committed both war crimes and crimes against humanity in the conflict.
Putin has also made diplomatic moves on the international stage in recent weeks that have raised Western eyebrows. He hosted Chinese leader Xi Jinping this week in Moscow, with fears that relations between Moscow and Beijing are tightening quickly.
“And so he’s basically a gas station with a bunch of nuclear weapons.”
If you are going to make quotes about russia, at least come out with something original.
Double speak. DeSantis is being a politician (much to my regret) in trying to have it both ways. Appease the idiots on trumps side and quiet down the supporters of Ukraine. Simply, fuck him! True disappointment.
The Republican Party looks like it has had a word with DeSantis and they want to make him into the candidate of choice. I don’t think DeSantis really has his own geopolitical ideas and was just modeling his stance after Trump’s to get credibility with that base.
Maybe DeSantis/Haley will end up the ticket.
There seems to be a deal they could work out – (non-MAGA) senators support for the campaign and DeSantis agenda in exchange for some of his policies (such as Ukraine) that aren’t his priority being closer to theirs.
Ladies and gentlemen, I think the Republican Party is getting back to normal.
I really, really hope this is the case as bi-partisan support throughout the campaign and next administration will keep the aid rolling.
Politics smells bad but perhaps DeSantis will turn out to be a functional out-house. Not the indoor toilet you want, but good enough to do the trick.
Naw, he’s still being a total cunt and pretending US aid weakens the US ability to deal with China.
Stupid since the Marine’s gave up their tanks since they aren’t planning to use them in the pacific. And Ukraine is reducing Russia as a threat which reduces America’s need to prepare for facing both.
I was hoping he was coming around ….