The fault lines in the GOP presidential primary are taking shape.
No one thought it would get this ugly this fast.
And all hell broke loose when Mike Pence picked this fight with Ron DeSantis.
Mike Pence is running for president to be the Mitt Romney/John McCain candidate for the GOP establishment.
Pence knows a large chunk of Trump voters will never support him because of January 6 so Pence’s only option is to run as the swamp-friendly Republican.
To prove his mettle to establishment Republicans Pence attacked Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over DeSantis’ calling out Joe Biden for caring more about securing Ukraine’s border than America.
Pence parroted the dubious claim made by Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell that Putin would march on NATO allies like Poland without a bottomless pit of American money and weapons.
“I would say anyone that thinks that Vladimir Putin will stop at Ukraine is wrong,” Pence stated.
“We need to understand the real long-term threat of renewed Russian aggression in Europe,” Pence added. “And I hold the view that it will not stop there.”
However, three days into the war it was obvious the Russian army was a paper tiger that could not even subdue Kyiv let alone roll columns of tanks into Warsaw.
Pence then falsely claimed DeSantis was a Putin apologist because DeSantis opposed limits on Joe Biden’s proxy war against Russia.
“While some in my party have taken a somewhat different view, there can be no room in the leadership of the Republican Party for apologists for Putin,” Pence added. “There can only be room for champions of freedom.”
On “Fox & Friends” DeSantis said Biden’s blank check for war in Ukraine was nonsense and that the real threat was Communist China.
“An open-ended blank check” is “not acceptable,” DeSantis said in an interview on “Fox & Friends,” adding that “Russia has been really, really wounded here and I don’t think that they are the same threat to our country, even though they’re hostile. I don’t think they’re on the same level as a China.”
DeSantis blasted Biden flying to Ukraine on Presidents’ Day and ignoring problems in America like an open border, the fentanyl epidemic and the toxic chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio.
“So I think while he’s over there, I think I and many Americans are thinking to ourselves, okay, ‘He’s very concerned about those borders halfway around the world. He’s not done anything to secure our own border here at home.’ We’ve had millions and millions of people pour in, tens of thousands of Americans dead because of fentanyl, and then, of course, we just suffered a national humiliation of having China fly a spy balloon clear across the continental United States,” DeSantis explained.
Pence responded to this by claiming the fight in Ukraine was America’s fight.
“We must continue to stand with the people of Ukraine against the violence and aggression of the Russian military,” Pence said. “The light does shine in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.”
It’s clear that Ukraine will serve as a major flash point in the GOP primary.
Donald Trump staked out an even more aggressive posture calling for an end to the war in Ukraine.
Like Pence, RINO former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley agrees with Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell that defending the Ukrainian border is the top priority for America.
The 2024 primary will determine if the GOP stays on the Trump/DeSantis conservative path or drifts back to the establishment-friendly politics of Mitch McConnell.
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