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March 14, 2023

Announced and Possible Republican Candidates Answer -- or Refuse to Answer -- Tucker Carlson's Questionnaire About Support for the Ukraine War

Video below, then their answers and some commentary.

Tucker Carlson @TuckerCarlson

We asked every potential 2024 GOP presidential candidate to answer six key questions on the war in Ukraine. As promised, their full responses are below.

Former President @realDonaldTrump answers our Ukraine questionnaire:

"Like inflation and numerous other self inflicted wounds and mistakes made over the past two years, Russia would definitely not have raided and attacked Ukraine if I was your President. In fact, for four years they didn't attack, nor did they have any intention of doing so as long as I was in charge. But the sad fact is that, due to a new lack of respect for the U.S., caused at least partially by our incompetently handled pullout from Afghanistan, and a very poor choice of words by Biden in explaining U.S. requests and intentions (Biden's first statement was that Russia could have some of Ukraine, no problem!), the bloody and expensive assault began, and continues to this day. That is all history, but how does it end, and it must end, NOW! Start by telling Europe that they must pay at least equal to what the U.S. is paying to help Ukraine. They must also pay us, retroactively, the difference. At a staggering 125 Billion Dollars, we are paying 4 to 5 times more, and this fight is far more important for Europe than it is for the U.S. Next, tell Ukraine that there will be little more money coming from us, UNLESS RUSSIA CONTINUES TO PROSECUTE THE WAR. The President must meet with each side, then both sides together, and quickly work out a deal. This can be easily done if conducted by the right President. Both sides are weary and ready to make a deal. The meetings should start immediately, there is no time to spare. The death and destruction MUST END NOW! Properly executed, this terrible and tragic War, a War that never should have started in the first place, will come to a speedy end. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!"

Is opposing Russia in Ukraine a vital American national strategic interest?

"No, but it is for Europe. But not for the United States. That is why Europe should be paying far more than we are, or equal."

What specifically is our objective in Ukraine, and how will we know when we've achieved it?

"Our objective in Ukraine is to help and secure Europe, but Europe isn't helping itself. They are relying on the United States to largely do it for them. That is very unfair to us. Especially since Europe takes advantage of us on trade and other things."

What is the limit of funding and materiel you would be willing to send to the government of Ukraine?

"That would strongly depend on my meeting with President Putin and Russia. Russia would have never attacked Ukraine if I were President, not even a small chance. Would have never happened if I were President, but it has. I would have to see what the direction in which Russia is headed. I want them to stop, and they will, depending on the one that delivers that message. But with everything said, Europe must pay. The United States has spent much more than Europe, and that is not fair, just, or equitable. If I were President, that horrible war would end in 24 hours, or less. It can be done, and it must be done-- now!"

Should the United States support regime change in Russia?

"No. We should support regime change in the United States, that's far more important. The Biden administration are the ones who got us into this mess."

LOL. Also, Trump isn't completely ruling out support for Ukraine:

"That would strongly depend on my meeting with President Putin and Russia. Russia would have never attacked Ukraine if I were President, not even a small chance. Would have never happened if I were President, but it has. I would have to see what the direction in which Russia is headed. I want them to stop, and they will, depending on the one that delivers that message."

He's just saying what many candidates say: If I were President, we wouldn't even have this problem to begin with, so my answer to the hypothetical isn't very important.

Not saying he's not entitled to say that. I just don't want to hear later that "Trump said he'd never support Ukraine and Meatball Ron was wishy-washy so he's a globalist!" Trump was not definitive on the question himself.

Given that Russia's economy and currency are stronger than before the war, do you believe that U.S. sanctions have been effective?

"No, they have not been effective. Just the opposite. They drove Russia, China and Iran into an unthinkable situation."

Do you believe the United States faces the risk of nuclear war with Russia?

"It depends on who the President of the United States is. At the moment, with Biden as president, absolutely yes. He says and does all the wrong things at the wrong time."

Can't argue with that.

Below, DeSantis' answer. I've bolded key words that all the NeverTrumpers and the Democrats and the propaganda media -- but I repeat myself thrice -- are Seizing and Pouncing on.

Florida Governor @RonDeSantisFL answers our Ukraine questionnaire:

"While the U.S. has many vital national interests -- securing our borders, addressing the crisis of readiness within our military, achieving energy security and independence, and checking the economic, cultural, and military power of the Chinese Communist Party -- becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them. The Biden administration's virtual "blank check" funding of this conflict for "as long as it takes," without any defined objectives or accountability, distracts from our country's most pressing challenges.

Without question, peace should be the objective. The U.S. should not provide assistance that could require the deployment of American troops or enable Ukraine to engage in offensive operations beyond its borders. F-16s and long-range missiles should therefore be off the table. These moves would risk explicitly drawing the United States into the conflict and drawing us closer to a hot war between the world's two largest nuclear powers. That risk is unacceptable.

A policy of "regime change" in Russia (no doubt popular among the DC foreign policy interventionists) would greatly increase the stakes of the conflict, making the use of nuclear weapons more likely. Such a policy would neither stop the death and destruction of the war, nor produce a pro-American, Madisonian constitutionalist in the Kremlin. History indicates that Putin's successor, in this hypothetical, would likely be even more ruthless. The costs to achieve such a dubious outcome could become astronomical.

The Biden administration's policies have driven Russia into a de facto alliance with China. Because China has not and will not abide by the embargo, Russia has increased its foreign revenues while China benefits from cheaper fuel. Coupled with his intentional depletion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and support for the Left's Green New Deal, Biden has further empowered Russia's energy-dominated economy and Putin's war machine at Americans' expense.

Our citizens are also entitled to know how the billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are being utilized in Ukraine.

We cannot prioritize intervention in an escalating foreign war over the defense of our own homeland, especially as tens of thousands of Americans are dying every year from narcotics smuggled across our open border and our weapons arsenals critical for our own security are rapidly being depleted."

I was wondering how DeSantis would deal with Ukraine. The politics of it are complex: MAGA voters have a very decisive position on Ukraine -- get out of Urkraine -- and the rest of the party is either unconstructed neocons or people who like to think that they're "just moderates" when in fact they're apathetic and indecisive, and view anyone with a decisive position as "extremist."

Did he thread the needle? I dunno, I suspect Trump's most zealous supporters will claim he's "being a globalist" or something.

All of the NeverTrump grifters seized upon DeSantis' answer to say he's Worse Than Trump.

David Frum @davidfrum

Ron DeSantis's humiliating cringe to Tucker Carlson last night raises question: is the Fox News favorite flaming out already as a general election candidate?

Lindsey Graham @LindseyGrahamSC

To those who believe that Russia's unprovoked and barbaric invasion of Ukraine is not a priority for the United States -- you are missing a lot.

Adam Kinzinger #fella @AdamKinzinger

Trump and DeSantis have both sold out conservatism for some strange form of socialism and government control of free markets.

And now both have abandoned Ukraine. So no, Ben we are just true to our beliefs.

He was responding there to Ben Shapiro, who noticed:

Ben Shapiro @benshapiro

Amazing to see all the people who said Trump was Hitler now swiveling to decry DeSantis. They're basically looking for an excuse to back Biden, and it's perfectly obvious.

Weird how Kinzinger claims he's not making up excuses to endorse Biden -- again. When he just retweeted this from Geraldo:

Adam Kinzinger #fella Retweeted Geraldo Rivera @GeraldoRivera

Hunter Biden has been investigated for almost five years. Aside from fact he's been a junkie dirtbag nothing remotely criminal has been uncovered.
Put up or shut up.

Yeah you're totally not Team Biden, "fella."

One last little tiny point: By answering this questionnaire that Tucker Carlson submitted to likely Republican candidates for President, not conservatives generally, Meatball Ron kind of admits he's running for president.

He could have responded, "given that I have not made any decisions to seek the presidency, this seems premature, and I will speak about it if necessary at a later date," or that kind of answer. Which would have been a dodge, but kind of a permissible dodge. I mean, he's not an announced candidate. (Yet.)

But he didn't take that dodge. He answered. And pretty much confirmed what has been reported, that he's made his decision, and that he is running.

Mike Pence's answer was pure unreformed neocon horseshit. He even entertains the possibility of regime change in Russia:

ormer VP @Mike_Pence answers our Ukraine questionnaire

Is opposing Russia in Ukraine a vital American national strategic interest?

"When the United States supports Ukraine in their fight against Putin, we follow the Reagan doctrine, and we support those who fight our enemies on their shores, so we will not have to fight them ourselves. There is no room for Putin apologists in the Republican Party. This is not America's war, but if Putin is not stopped and the sovereign nation of Ukraine is not restored quickly, he will continue to move toward our NATO allies, and America would then be called upon to send our own.

We've been hearing "we have to fight them there or fight them here"/"we need to fight now to avoid an even bigger fight later" jive for decades.

This is Hack Conservaspeak. This is the conservaspeak equivalent of a comedian making jokes about airplane peanuts.

Vladimir Putin has revealed his true nature, a dictator consumed conquest and willing to spend thousands of lives for his commitment to reestablish the Greater Russian Empire. Anyone who thinks Putin will stop at Ukraine's border is not owning up to the reality of who Putin is. We need to be clear-eyed about the Russian threat: that Georgia, the Crimea, and Ukraine are merely at the top of Putin's lists, they are not the only countries he's aiming for. And by supporting Ukraine, we have told China we will support Taiwan, should they follow Russia in an attempt to invade."

Oh Jesus Help Me. For 83 years, every single American opponent has been Literally Hitler.

Hitler is all we ever talking about in foreign policy. We must never forget the lessons of Munich, we're constantly told.

Forget them? How could we ever forget them? They are literally the only lessons of history that are repeated in every single military/foreign policy question.

Are there any other lessons from history about war? Like, say, don't overreach? Don't overextend yourself into an indefensible position? Never get into a landwar in Asia? Or beware of getting on the tiger's back?

Nah nah nah, the only lesson from history we all have to remember is that all of our enemies are Literally Hitler, always, and we have to always fight Hitler, because if you don't fight Hitler, you'll have to fight Hitler later, and that's bad.

Oh, and every single war must be fought with the goal of unconditional enemy surrender, like we did with Literally-Literally Hitler, and then we must occupy that country for years afterwards to both rebuild its economy, like we did with Literally Germany, and to make sure they adopt American Principles of Government and Justice, as we also did with Literally Germany.

Are there any other exemplars from history we should ever follow, or is it just Hitler/Nazi Germany forever?

We have fought other wars, guys. Crack a fucking book once in a while.

What specifically is our objective in Ukraine, and how will we know when we've achieved it?

"Victory for Ukraine, where Ukraine's sovereignty and peace are restored as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the Biden administration slow walked aid to Ukraine, every response has been too slow from providing intelligence to Ukraine, to hammering Russia with sanctions, to providing military equipment and fighter jets to Ukraine.

Ukraine's victory should be an unmistakable, undeniable defeat for Russia and its allies."

Total unconditional surrender is our war aim, as it was with Literally-Literally Hitler.

What is the limit of funding and material you would be willing to send to the government of Ukraine?

"As a fiscal conservative, I do not believe in sending blank checks and want oversight of government spending at home and abroad. But withholding or reducing support will have consequences: If Putin is not stopped now and he moves into NATO-controlled territory, the cost will be far greater."

Endless babbling. We have to fight as much as we can possibly fight so that we don't have to fight even more than we're eagerly signing up to fight.

Should the United States support regime change in Russia?

"That is a better question for the thousands of Russian citizens jailed for protesting the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As many as 200,000 Russian troops have been killed or wounded in Putin's invasion of Ukraine, that question should be asked to those families grieving their loss, ask if they'd support a regime change."

In other words: Yes.

Skipping: Nuclear war with Russia? Eh, it's a bluff. Let's roll the dice.


Do you believe the United States faces the risk of nuclear war with Russia?

"Putin is still "the small and bullying leader of Russia," his talk of nuclear war is a bullying tactic that he used at the start of the invasion. But Putin should know the United States will not be bullied. This administration has not led with strength on the world stage, but America is still a nation that believes peace comes through strength."

Well, I mean, I guess we do have to "show that we will not be bullied," that's really really important...

I'll refer you to Tucker's thread for the answers from Tim Scott, Chris Christie and Kristi Noem, who are not real candidates. Greg Abbott also responded. I guess maybe he's real longshot candidate.

Replying to @TuckerCarlson

The following GOP presidential hopefuls did not respond:

digg this
posted by Ace at 06:10 PM

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