Left-wing press sees Trump all over Pence’s upcoming speech

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Former Vice President Mike Pence is being applauded by the left-wing press for slamming the “Putin apologists” on the right whom he claims have been making excuses for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The left-wing press believes the remarks, made to GOP donors at a Republican National Committee retreat in New Orleans this Friday, were meant specifically as a dig at former President Donald Trump.

“Pence hits Trump: No room in GOP for ‘apologists for Putin,'” a headline from ABC News reads.

The left-wing establishment media outlet bases this conclusion on Trump having recently said that it was “smart” for Putin to wait till he was out of office to invade Ukraine, given the current U.S. president’s weakness.

“It would have been so easy for me to stop this travesty from happening. He understood me, and he understood that I didn’t play games. This would not have happened,” he’d said, arguing that there would have been no invasion if he were still in office.

It’s not clear how these remarks make him a “Putin apologist,” especially since a majority of Americans believe similarly:

And indeed, not once during his speech Friday did Pence say Trump’s name.

“To those who argue that NATO expansion is somehow responsible for the invasion of Ukraine, ask yourself where would our friends in Eastern Europe be today if they were not in NATO,” was what Pence said, according to excerpts he shared on Twitter.

“Where would Russian tanks be today if NATO had not expanded the borders of freedom? There is no room in this party for apologists for Putin. There is only room for champions of freedom,” he added.

His target appeared not to be Trump but rather voices like Fox News’s  Tucker Carlson, who’s been echoing a point made by numerous other commentators, including but not limited to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, renowned diplomat and historian George Kennan, Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry Kissinger, “leading geopolitical scholar” John Mearsheimer, etc.

Their point is that Russia has been complaining about NATO’s encroachment into its region of the world for decades. Yet NATO, and specifically the United States, always chose to ignore its pleas and concerns.

But this is not a point that Trump himself has ever made, so why would Pence target him? And indeed, during his speech Pence himself echoed some of Trump’s own rhetoric about current President Joe Biden’s weakness.

“From day one President Biden has shown weakness on the world stage and the world is a more dangerous place as a result,” he reportedly said.

“It’s no coincidence that Russia waited until 2022 to invade Ukraine. Weakness arouses evil and the magnitude of evil sweeping across Ukraine speaks volumes about the president. I say this not as a partisan but as an American.”

Even Carlson, who appears to have been Pence’s real target, has made this point, arguing that had Biden applied enough deterrence like Trump would have done, Putin would have never invaded Russia in the first place.

But now that Putin has invaded, there’s no other option but to just watch, according to Carlson, lest the United States end up triggering World War III.

Pence vehemently disagrees with this line of thinking.

“Putin only understands strength. As members of the party that won the Cold War, we must send a deafening message: Putin must stop or Putin must pay,” he said in his speech Friday.

“We must demand this administration increases military spending immediately, [arms] Ukraine with lethal weapons to counter Russian armor and aircraft and President Biden should sanction all Russian oil exports worldwide,” the former vice president contended.

Though his remarks about Putin don’t appear to have been related to Trump, his remarks about the 2020 election likely were.

“Elections are about the future. My fellow Republicans, we can only win if we are united around an optimistic vision for the future based on our highest values. We cannot win by fighting yesterday’s battles, or by relitigating the past,” he reportedly said.

It’s been widely assumed that he’d been referencing Trump’s obsession with relitigating the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

Vivek Saxena


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