Vice President Kamala Harris criticized recent comments by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis about Ukraine, saying he may not have made such statements if he truly understood the issues.
During an appearance on «The Late Show with Stephen Colbert»which aired Wednesday night, Harris was asked about DeSantis’ comments to Fox News host Tucker Carlson, calling Russia’s war in Ukraine a «territorial dispute» and saying defending Ukraine it is not a «vital» national interest for the country. US
Harris chided the comments by DeSantis, a Republican, first pointing to meetings she has had with «more than 100» world leaders, including presidents, prime ministers, chancellors and kings, as a vice president.
“When you have had the experience of knowing and understanding the importance, again, of international rules and norms, and the importance of the United States of America being firm and clear about the importance of sovereignty and territorial integrity, the importance to stand firm against any nation that tries to take another nation by force,» Harris said.
She added: «If you really understand the issues, you probably wouldn’t make statements like that.»
The comments from DeSantis, a possible Republican presidential candidate, came in response to a questionnaire that Carlson shared to Twitter.
“While the United States has many vital national interests — securing our borders, addressing the crisis of readiness within our military, achieving energy security and independence, and reining in the economic, cultural, and military power of the Chinese Communist Party — becoming further entangled in a the Ukraine-Russia territorial dispute is not one of them,” DeSantis wrote.
“The Biden administration’s virtual ‘blank check’ funding of this conflict for ‘as long as it takes,’ with no defined goals or accountability, distracts attention from our country’s most pressing challenges,” he continued.
DeSantis also argued that «peace should be the goal» of the US, adding that he opposes sending «F-16s and long-range missiles» to help Ukraine defend against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war. .
The comments represent a break with many in DeSantis’s party, as well as a change from his time in Congress, during which he supported multiple defense bills providing US military and intelligence support to Ukraine.
While he has yet to announce a 2024 presidential run, some Republicans who want to move beyond Trump already see DeSantis as a favorite.
Harris has previously criticized DeSantis for his efforts to change the way black history is taught.
«Any pressure to censor America’s teachers and tell them what they should be teaching in the best interest of our children … I think is misdirected,» he said in an interview with NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell last month.
“The people who know our children are their parents and their teachers… and it shouldn’t be a politician who says what should be taught in our classrooms,” Harris added.