Donald Trump Calls Out Ron DeSantis’ “Neocon Rhetoric”

Former President Donald Trump recently called out Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ “neocon rhetoric” concerning the Russo-Ukrainian conflict. 

In a recently published video, Trump took the Florida governor to task for a position that he believes was not serious and represented an unnecessary escalation in rhetoric during a time when a nuclear great power is conducting a controversial military operation in Ukraine. 

“Calling Russia a ‘gas station with a bunch of nuclear weapons’ or calling Vladimir Putin an ‘authoritarian gas station attendant with some legacy nuclear weapons from the old Soviet Union’ is exactly the kind of simple-minded thinking that has produced decades of failed diplomacy and ultimately war,” Trump argued, citing remarks DeSantis made in 2022 about the conflict.

Trump likened DeSantis’ dismissive remarks about the Russian threat to those of failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

“Those such as Mitt Romney and Ron DeSantis, very much alike, who insist on arrogantly treating Russia as deeply inferior to the other nations of the world with no history or culture or pride, are not only ignorant and foolish, but their attitude makes it impossible to negotiate peace,” Trump asserted.

“This kind of neocon rhetoric mocking Russia’s nuclear weapons along with implying that Putin must be tried and presumably executed as a war criminal only increases the chance of deadly nuclear escalation,” Trump argued.

Trump also brought attention to one of DeSantis’ recent flip-flops on the Russo-Ukrainian war.

“Fundamentally, it shows a lack of depth, a lack of seriousness and a lack of sophistication on the subtleties and complexities of foreign policy,” Trump claimed. “This is not the time for on-the-job training as we face the possibility of nuclear war and our leaders if you call them, that got us there.”

“We need a statesman and a peacemaker in the White House. Not someone who recites mindless and recycled talking points to win the approval of the failed foreign policy establishment that didn’t know what they were doing,” Trump continued. Trump’s remarks on Ukraine came at a time when DeSantis has attempted to hedge on the geopolitical issue.

Initially, DeSantis described the Russo-Ukrainian conflict as a “territorial dispute” and declared that it is not one of the US’s “vital national interests” in a statement he sent to Tucker Carlson.

Since then, DeSantis has attempted to take a more moderate position on the issue. 

“Well, I think it’s been mischaracterized. Obviously, Russia invaded (last year) — that was wrong. They invaded Crimea and took that in 2014 — that was wrong.” DeSantis said to Piers Morgan.

It’s becoming clear that DeSantis is trying to moderate his geopolitical positions. While he has done an excellent job as the governor of Florida, DeSantis is no paragon of realism and restraint. BLP previously reported on DeSantis’ shaky stances regarding the Euromaidan Revolution of 2014, where he supported the Western-backed coup against the-Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. 

While Trump has his flaws on foreign policy, namely his fanatic pro-Zionism (a position that DeSantis also holds), he is still the more principled voice on all matters concerning realism and restraint.  At the end of the day, DeSantis represents a more moderate voice of American foreign policy chauvinism, which needs to be categorically rejected if the US wants to return to any form of foreign policy sanity. 

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