Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called on President Joe Biden and European nations Tuesday to “hit” Russian President Vladimir Putin “where it counts.”
“You see what’s going on around the world, my view on the whole situation with Ukraine and Russia is if you want to hit Vladimir Putin, hit him where it counts,” DeSantis began. “This is a guy who’s basically an authoritarian gas station attendant with some legacy nuclear weapons from the old Soviet Union. Their whole society is hollowed out except for that energy. And so you want to hit him, hit him at the gas pump, hit him with energy.”
Advocating for energy independence, the governor said Biden “stepped on the neck” of U.S. domestic energy by scrapping the Keystone XL Pipeline and blocking American oil and gas companies from receiving new federal leases. He said both U.S. and European “weak” policies have led the country to be dependent on Russian energy production.
“Let’s be real, it’s a matter of national security. Yes, of course it’s a matter at the gas pump. Gas is up 40-50% in the last year,” he continued. “That hurts people. These are people that are working, they have to commute and it just eats up part of their income.”
“My feeling is that they haven’t done enough, Europe or Biden’s administration, to really hit Putin where it counts and that’s because they have been so weak on domestic energy so let’s get back where we need to get back to.” (RELATED: ‘Destroy The Ruble’: Sen. Graham Calls For Crushing Russian Energy, Making Putin A ‘War Criminal’)
The governor then blasted Biden’s leadership during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in August, 2021, which he said “wedded the appetite” for Putin, Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Iran’s influence to invade neighboring democratic countries.
“The weakness has really bred a lot of the disorder you’re seeing right now,” he continued.
DeSantis concluded that Putin, influenced by what he said was Biden’s weakness, overconfidently invaded Ukraine and has since “backed himself into a corner.”
Though Biden sanctioned four Russian banks and exports, he confirmed Friday that the sanctions do not impact the oil and gas sector. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that reimposing the construction of the Keystone Pipeline and granting federal leases to energy companies will not solve the surge in energy and gas prices.