Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis, immediately after his disastrous presidential campaign launch on Twitter Spaces, headed to Fox News where he said on “day one” as Commander in Chief the way he will handle Russia’s war against Ukraine is to keep America’s “woke military” from focusing on “gender ideology” and “global warming” in order to reach a “settlement.”
“All right, you wore the uniform,” Fox News host and former GOP Congressman Trey Gowdy said to DeSantis. “If you are elected president, you may be the first one in a while to have worn the uniform. How would you address the ongoing war in Eastern Europe between Russia and Ukraine on day one of a Ron DeSantis presidency?”
“Well, first,” the new presidential candidate declared, “I think what we need to do as a veteran is recognize that our military has become politicized. You talk about gender ideology, you talk about things like global warming, that they’re somehow concerned and that’s not the military that I served in.”
“We need to return our military, to focusing on commitment, focusing on the core values and the core mission. That would be something that I can take care of on day one,” he said, appearing to suggest America’s service members are not sufficiently committed.
“There’ll be a new sheriff in town as Commander in Chief, and I think you’ll see recruiting start to get back to where it needs to be because people don’t want to join a woke military, and I think it’s been really really problematic.”
None of those issues have anything to do with the illegal war being waged by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is facing an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court in the Hague for alleged war crimes. DeSantis in March called Russia’s war against Ukraine a mere “territorial dispute.”
U.S. troops are not fighting in Ukraine, so America’s current military recruitment challenges have nothing to do with defeating Russia.
Nor does what DeSantis has called the “woke mind virus.”
Current recruitment challenges are caused by issues DeSantis does not want to bring up: President Joe Biden’s successes of pulling out of Afghanistan and very low unemployment, as the strategy, defense, and foreign affairs website War on the Rocks explains. It also points to a drop in Americans eligible to join the military, and that under President Donald Trump, confidence in the U.S. Armed Forced had dropped, but has actually risen under President Biden.
DeSantis did get around to mentioning “what’s going on over in Eastern Europe,” as he called Russia’s war against Ukraine, saying simply he’d “like to see a settlement of this,” and doesn’t want U.S. troops involved.
Attorney George Conway, a Republican turned independent during Donald Trump’s presidency, mocked DeSantis’ response.
“You see, Ron’s military policy advisers showed him a theatre map reflecting that Transnistria borders Ukraine and he concluded that some woke soldiers must have drinking Bud Light.”
Attorney Ron Filipkowski, a former Republican and former DeSantis administration official, responded by saying DeSantis “wants to play footsie with pro-Putin MAGA while hanging on to his pro-Ukraine donors.”
Former GOP Congressman Joe Walsh added, “He’s Johnny one note. Everything is an attack on ‘woke.’ Everything. He ain’t ready for prime time.”
Democratic former state lawmaker Carlos Guillermo Smith, a current state Senate candidate said: “Culture wars are all this clown can do.”
Harvard Law School Cyberlaw Clinic instructor Alejandra Caraballo tweeted, “Rudy Guiliani was ‘noun, verb 9/11’ and now DeSantis is ‘noun, verb, gender ideology.'”