Former Vice president and current 2024 Republican presidential candidate Mike Pence cautioned on Wednesday that the U.S. may be dragged into a war with Russia if Ukraine is overrun.
Pence, in a statement on the “Hugh Hewitt Show,” expressed his personal belief that Russia would expand its sights after defeating Kyiv. This, he claimed, would draw American troops into a broader conflict.
In this way, the candidate justified pouring tens of billions of dollars into a faraway war with no end in sight.
Both the 2024 GOP frontrunner, former President Donald Trump, and his closest challenger, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, have criticized the unchecked flow of funds into the conflict.
But Pence, who visited Ukraine last week, clearly positioned himself opposite of his rivals.
As he explained, “I have no doubt that if Vladimir Putin overran Ukraine it would not be too long, Hugh, before the Russian military crossed a border where we would have to send our fighting men and women to fight against them.
In case of Ukraine's defeat, Americans will have to fight Russia, said former US Vice President and presidential candidate Mike Pence.
Therefore, according to him, the United States is ready to provide Ukrainians with the means to fight the Russians. pic.twitter.com/O0uDgLxR5e
— Live: Ukraine (@liveukraine2022) July 6, 2023
Pence apparently aligned with the Biden White House and Congress in their sending over $77 billion in various forms of aid to Ukraine since Jan. 2022. In fact, he termed the war “evil.”
In a Wednesday interview with the Associated Press, Pence alleged that Trump and DeSantis “just don’t understand Americans’ national interest in supporting the Ukrainian military.”
Pence countered the position of many conservatives against the ever-expanding aid provided for Kyiv with few if any strings attached. This viewpoint is shared by many Americans, according to a Pew Research Center survey published in June.
Pollsters found that 44% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents believe Washington is providing too much aid to Ukraine for its fight against Russia. That increased from 40% and is the highest total since the conflict began in Feb. 2022.
How that will play to Republican voters is anyone’s guess, but it is an increasingly unshared viewpoint. Pence is clearly bucking the trend of conservatives wanting distance between the U.S. and a third world war.