DeSantis’ Rookie Mistake

By Dick Morris on March 16, 2023

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, new to presidential politics, has committed a rookie mistake that could cost him dearly should he run for president against Trump.

DeSantis told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that protecting Ukraine from Russian aggression in what he called “a territorial dispute” between the two countries was not “a vital national interest.”

Not a vital national interest? The rule of law that stops countries like Russia from invading anyone they don’t like is not “a vital national interest?”

Protecting the freedom of 44 million people is not “a vital national interest?”

Standing up to Putin and letting him know he can’t get away with sending tanks across national boundaries whenever he wants anymore is not “a vital national interest?”

And what kind of world leader tells an aggressor like Moscow that they can go ahead and invade because stopping them is not “a vital national interest?”

Rookie mistake. When Putin takes up Governor DeSantis’ invitation and invades Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia — and then Poland — will that, at long last, imperil our “vital national interest?”

Those more conversant with the history of the Cold War than the Governor will recall that, on January 12, 1950, Secretary of State Dean Acheson sent Moscow a signal very much like DeSantis just did, leaving Korea off a list of nations that constitute America’s “defensive perimeter” in the Pacific.

Less than six months later, North Korea launched a military offensive across the 38th parallel that nearly succeeded in imposing Communist rule over the entire peninsula.

And led to the deaths of 40,000 American troops.

You don’t tell your adversary that you won’t intervene to stop his next invasion. Its a mistake only a rookie could make.

Trump, who is no rookie, understands the challenge Russian aggression poses and is determined not to let it metastasize into World War III. He promises to use all our power to get the sides to settle this brutal war.

The obvious solution is a stand still cease fire dividing the country based on who occupies what. Right now, Ukrainian troops control over 80 percent of the country and Russian power only predominates in less than 20% of the country primarily in areas where Russian is widely spoken.

DeSantis is a very good governor. His expertise on the issues of illegal immigration and education is clear and admirable. But does he know economics and foreign policy?

This early fumble makes this question more troubling.

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