Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has been frequently mentioned as a potential GOP presidential contender, ripped President Joe Biden over “weakness” in foreign policy he believes emboldened Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine.
In speaking with reporters, the GOP governor said there was a perception of weakness emanating from the U.S. before 2016 — Donald Trump’s election victory — and after he left office.
“My feeling is they haven’t done enough —Europe or Biden’s administration — to really hit Putin where it counts, and that’s because they have been so weak on domestic energy,” DeSantis said in criticizing Biden’s energy policies, which he said stripped the United States of its energy independent status attained during the latter years of the Trump administration.
“So let’s get back to where we need to get to back to. And I can tell you this. The media spent four years saying that Trump was some type of agent of Russia, and yet, when I was in Congress when Obama was president, Obama refused to send weapons to Ukraine,” DeSantis said, going on to offer a series of comparisons.
“When Trump was president, we sent weapons to Ukraine. Putin didn’t like that very much. When Obama was president, Putin took Crimea. When Trump was president, they didn’t take anything. And now Biden’s president and they’re rolling into Ukraine,” the Republican governor continued.
He went on to cite the deadly, chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan as further emboldening America’s enemies.
“It was a total catastrophe, but it displayed the lack of leadership that Joe Biden is bringing to the table,” he said, adding that he did not think that the worst consequence of that withdrawal would be Afghanistan itself.
“Russia was watching that. China was watching that. Iran was watching that. That whetted the appetite of these dictators,” DeSantis said, going on to predict that China and Iran will continue to act belligerently, too.
“So the weakness has really bred a lot of the disorder you’re seeing right now,” he added.