Tucker Carlson grills Republican candidates on Ukraine (VIDEOS)
In his first television appearance since leaving Fox News, Tucker Carlson has hammered 2024 candidates Mike Pence, Tim Scott, and Asa Hutchinson for backing the Democratic Party’s policy of unlimited military support for Ukraine.
Carlson hosted Blaze Media’s Family Leadership Summit on Friday, during which he held live interviews with three potential presidential candidates. A persistent critic of Washington’s supply of arms and funding to Ukraine, Carlson first pressed South Carolina Senator Tim Scott on what he would do differently.
“Why not force a peace?” Carlson asked. “What’s the point that we’ll know we’ve reached our goal?”
Scott stuck by President Joe Biden’s oft-stated position: that any peace deal would be “premature,” and that the US should continue arming Kiev until Kiev decides it has reached “victory.”
Tucker grills Tim Scott on Ukraine conflict: "Why not force a peace? They are a client state of the United States. Without American backing, there's kind of no Ukraine. We're literally paying the salaries of their bureaucrats." pic.twitter.com/HbuwQztK9j— TheBlaze (@theblaze) July 14, 2023
While insisting that US troops should never be deployed to Ukraine, Scott declared “degrading the Russian military” to be in America’s “vital national interest,” and referred to Russia, China and Iran as a “rising axis of evil,” repeating a favorite talking point of the George W. Bush-era GOP.
Next on stage was former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson. Asked why he would prioritize using the US military to oppose China and Russia instead of securing the US’ border with Mexico, Hutchinson avoided mentioning Russia, pledging instead to use the military to defend “the Freedom of Taiwan.”
Hutchinson was followed by former Vice President Mike Pence, whose support base consists largely of evangelical Christians. Asked about Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s crackdown on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, however, Pence insisted that officials in Kiev have assured him that there is no crackdown, and that “very small elements” of the Church had been “held to account” for “advancing the Russian cause.”
Things get heated as Tucker and Pence CLASH over UkraineTucker: "The Zelenskyy government has raided convents and arrested priests. That's an attack on religious liberty and we're funding it. As a prominent Christian leader, I would think you would have greater concern for… pic.twitter.com/VYwRT8m99B— TheBlaze (@theblaze) July 14, 2023
Pence went on to argue that the Ukrainian military should be given even more tanks than the Biden administration has already provided.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Vice President,” Carlson interjected. “You’re distressed that the Ukrainians don’t have enough American tanks? Our economy has degraded, the suicide rate has jumped, public filth and disorder and crime have exponentially increased, and yet your concern is that the Ukrainians, a country most people can’t find on a map, don’t have enough tanks?”
As the audience applauded Carlson, Pence replied “It’s not my concern,” seemingly referring to America’s problems. However, it is unclear whether Pence misspoke or “said the quiet part out loud,” as critics on Twitter insisted.
Tucker: "I'm sorry, Mr. Vice President. You are distressed that the Ukrainians don't have enough American tanks? Every city in the United States has become much worse over the past three years. Drive around. There's not one city that's gotten better. And it's visible. Our… pic.twitter.com/6bJ8aKSPhs— TheBlaze (@theblaze) July 14, 2023
None of the candidates interviewed by Carlson are doing well in the polls. According to an average of recent polls compiled by RealClearPolitics, Pence sits at 6.3%, Scott at 3.2%, and Hutchinson at 1%. Former President Donald Trump is leading the pack at 53%, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis a distant second at 20%.
Trump has repeatedly promised that he would force the Ukrainian and Russian governments to sit down and agree to a peace deal. “This conflict must end,” Trump said in a statement on Friday, in response to Biden’s callup of reservist troops for deployment to Europe. “Not one American mother or father wants to send their child to die in Eastern Europe. We must have peace.”