IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.
Ukrainian soldiers fire a Pion artillery system at Russian positions near Bakhmut, Ukraine
Ukrainian soldiers fire a Pion artillery system at Russian positions near Bakhmut, Ukraine, on Dec. 16, 2022. Libkos / AP file

GOP presidential candidate split on Ukraine mirrors polling divide

An NBC News poll in Jan. found two-thirds of Republicans who did not support more funding and weapons for Ukraine.


The divide among Republican presidential hopefuls on Ukraine, on display in new comments to Fox New, shouldn't surprise those who caught the findings of the recent NBC News poll from January.

Republicans remain skeptical about providing more aid to Ukraine in its fight against Russia's invasion, far more than the evenly divided public at large.

Polling from January found 49% of adults saying that Congress should provide more funding and weapons to Ukraine and 47% who said Congress should not.

But while two-thirds of Democrats supported more funding, just one-third of Republicans agreed. Thirty-two percent of Republicans supported more funding and weapons for Ukraine, with 63% saying they did not.

That skepticism is echoed in new comments from the possible Republican presidential field, in comments Carlson solicited from a variety of Republican politicians: Former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Here's a look at some of the key takeaways from their comments:

  • Trump said that opposing Russia in Ukraine is not a vital American national strategic interest, but "it is for Europe," calling on the continent to up its aid to Ukraine and for European countries to partially reimburse America for its contributions.
  • DeSantis said "becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not" in America's vital national interest, spoke out against providing aid like F-16s and long-range missiles out of fear of "drawing the United States into the conflict," opposed regime change and called for prioritizing homeland issues like the border over "intervention in an escalating foreign war."
  • Pence called supporting Ukraine embodying "the Reagan doctrine, and we support those who fight our enemies on their shores." He went on to say "there's no room for Putin apologists in the Republican Party," warning Russia would attack NATO allies if it isn't stopped in Ukraine, calling for "victory for Ukraine, where Ukraine's sovereignty and peace are restored as quickly as possible."
  • Noem said that "this should be Europe's fight, not ours" and that "we're weakening our own military by sending weapons to a corrupt country" and "taking our eyes of the ball and allowing China to put favors in their bank."
  • Scott said that “degrading the Russian military is in our vital national interest” but added, “we are gonna have accountability for every single dollar spent.”
  • Ramaswamy argued that "this war is a symptom of America's lack of self sufficiency" because the West relies too much on Russia for energy.