September 24, 2023

Former Vice President Mike Pence, a potential 2024 Republican presidential nominee, on Friday denounced his party’s “apologists” for Russian President Vladimir Putin, while calling on the United States to step up its support for Ukraine. Did.

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Pence, who served four years in the White House under former President Donald Trump, did not name any of his Republican colleagues. But he suggested that his criticism was aimed at GOP leaders.

Pence said, “Although some in my party have taken a different view, let me be clear: there can be no place in the leadership of the Republican Party for apologists for Putin.” “There can be room only for the champions of liberty.”

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Pence said later in the speech, “If we surrender to the siren song of those in this country who argue that America is uninterested in the cause of freedom, history teaches that we may soon lose our people.” can harm.”

He also hit out at President Joe Biden’s administration for being too hesitant to provide Ukraine with the supplies it needs to continue fighting.

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Pence said, “History teaches that he who hesitates is lost.”

The former vice president’s barbs came in a speech marking the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the largest and bloodiest military conflict in Europe since World War II.

Pence, speaking at the University of Texas at Austin’s Clements Center for National Security, urged the US and its allies to act “with increased speed” to inflict economic pain on Putin and his allies, “until he Do not trust” and do not get out of Ukraine.

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He also called on the US to “expedite the movement of military provisions” to Kiev, and continue to provide substantial humanitarian aid to the millions of people who have been caught up in the brutal conflict.

The Biden administration on Friday took additional steps to strengthen Ukraine, sending another $2 billion in military aid, approving more than 200 additional individuals and entities and raising tariffs on key Russian products.

Pence did not explicitly name Trump in the speech, except that Russia had not attempted any international aggression during the Trump-Pence administration. But on the topic of Putin and Ukraine, Pence’s remarks nevertheless presented a clear difference in tone between him and his former boss.

Trump, asked in an interview Friday about sending money and arms to Ukraine, warned that “we’re going to end up in World War III,” and insisted that the conflict “would never have happened” if he were still president. Were. Trump also claimed he was “tougher on Russia than anyone else”, but added, “I’m still with Putin.”

Pence has openly said he is considering a run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, potentially pitting him directly against Trump. The former president rebuked Pence on January 6, 2021, after the then-vice president refused to participate in a plan to reverse Trump’s 2020 election loss to Biden. A violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol, sending the then-Vice President and Congressmen into hiding.

Pence has said that Trump was “wrong” to believe that he could reverse the election result by forfeiting key Electoral College votes to Biden. In an interview with CNBC on Wednesday, Pence said he believes there will be better alternatives to Trump in 2024.

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But as he considers seeking the nomination of a party that still widely supports Trump, Pence has been quick to tout the achievements of the Trump-Pence administration, and he clearly Hasn’t ruled out endorsing U.S. President Donald Trump if he becomes the GOP nominee.