Donald Trump: The former president claimed that the Russia-Ukraine conflict would not be happening if he were still in office. He slammed America's European allies, saying they “should be paying far more than we are, or equal.” Trump dismissed talks of regime change in Russia but insisted that “we should support regime change in the United States.”
Ron DeSantis: The Florida governor declared that further entanglement in “a territorial dispute” is not vital to American interests and that he would pursue "peace" as the ultimate objective. DeSantis clarified that the deployment of F-16s, long-range missiles, or troops is “off the table.” He also advocated for domestic focus, stating that the U.S. should not prioritize foreign escalations while “tens of thousands of Americans are dying every year from narcotics smuggled across our open border.”
Pence, Scott, and Haley: Former Vice President Mike Pence dismissed the threat of nuclear war as nothing more than a “bullying tactic” by Russia. He said regime change there should be up to the Russian people. Pence also teased at a willingness to send troops to Ukraine if things progress and said "withholding or reducing support [for Ukraine] will have consequence.” South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley largely echoed Pence.
Other candidates: Vivek Ramaswamy gave said opposing Russia is not vital and that the U.S. should limit further support for Ukraine. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem claimed that Ukraine "should be Europe's fight, not ours” and pointed to China as America's primary rival instead of Russia. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie echoed Pence in expanding support for Ukraine against “authoritarian aggression.”