Mike Pence blames Trump for Israel invasion

 October 10, 2023

Former vice president and long-shot Republican presidential candidate Mike Pence sought to tie his ex-boss, Donald Trump, to the invasion of Israel by Hamas during a CNN interview.

Pence accused Trump - the leading candidate in the 2024 Republican primary - of "signaling retreat" from the world stage with his statements on the war in Ukraine.

“Look, what happened in Ukraine was an unprovoked invasion by Russia. What happened this weekend was an unprovoked invasion by Hamas into Israel,” he said.

Pence blasts Trump "retreat"

Pence also blasted Florida governor Ron DeSantis - who has continued to face criticism for calling the Ukraine war a "territorial dispute" - and Vivek Ramaswamy, who has forcefully echoed isolationist sentiment toward Ukraine.

"But I also believe this is what happens when we have leading voices like Donald Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy and Ron DeSantis signaling retreat from America’s role as leader of the free world,” Pence said.

Pence has frequently condemned Trump's populist style of politics as a betrayal of conservative principles. In particular, Pence has blasted Trump's skepticism of foreign entanglement in Ukraine as a boon to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Now, it seems Pence wants to lay the invasion in Israel at Trump's feet - despite Trump's fervently Zionist, pro-Israel record in office, which made him a close ally with Israel's prime minister Netanyahu.

“And I really believe now more than ever, both the debate within America is whether or not we’re going to once again stand without apology as the leader of the free world, as the arsenal of democracy," Pence told CNN.

Blaming Trump

Although Trump is no longer president, Pence tied his calls for less involvement in Ukraine with President Biden's weakness on the world stage, mentioning the humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan and Biden's controversial move to unfreeze $6 billion in Iranian assets.

Biden’s "kowtowing for the last two and a half years to the mullahs in Iran, lifting sanctions, begging them to get back in the Iran nuclear deal, and then paying $6 billion in a ransom for hostages, I think, set the conditions for this unprecedented terrorist attack by Hamas against Israel,” Pence said.

Trump is leading his primary challengers - including Pence and onetime close rival DeSantis - in the dust, leading many to see a rematch between Trump and Biden as inevitable.

Trump has said the invasions of Ukraine and Israel would not have occurred if he were in office.

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