Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that France “probably” wouldn’t put up a fight if Russia decided to invade.
“A lot of other places around the world, they just fold when there’s any type of adversity,” DeSantis said, in reference to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, during a press conference at the University of South Florida. “I mean can you imagine if [Putin] went into France?”
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) poses a very helpful hypothetical showing tremendous brainpower:
“Can you imagine if [Putin] went into France? Would they do anything to put up a fight? Probably not.” pic.twitter.com/LJVLVlg8bt
— The Recount (@therecount) March 2, 2022
“Would [France] do anything to put up a fight? Probably not,” DeSantis continued. “So those folks [Ukrainians] are stepping up, but there’s a lot of problems between now and then, and I think, unfortunately, it’s going to end up very, very ugly over the next few weeks and months.”
DeSantis described Russian President Vladimir Putin as “basically an authoritarian gas station attendant,” and the Russian nation as a “hollowed-out country but for the energy” and “legacy nuclear weapons.” (RELATED: ‘Mr President, Are You Worried About Nuclear War?!’: Biden Ignores Press As He Returns From Weekend Away)
DeSantis also called on President Joe Biden’s administration and European nations Tuesday to “hit” Putin “where it counts … hit him at the gas pump.”
Contrary to DeSantis’s opinion of the western European nation, France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that “Putin must also understand that the Atlantic alliance is a nuclear alliance,” reported Fox News, but that “strangling Russia economically and financially will in the long run be stronger than any intervention.”
France’s military conducts nuclear training exercise every three months, according to a Forbes report. The exercises are roughly four-hours in length, which matches the flight time from French military bases to western Russia, and back, the article notes. The nation also uses Navy submarines containing 16 M51 intercontinental ballistic missiles. Overall, France had an estimated atomic arsenal of around 300 warheads as of 2020, per reports from Forbes.
The Florida governor previously blasted Biden’s track record with foreign affairs, including the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, which he claimed “whetted the appetite” for Putin, Iran and Chinese dictator Xi Jinping.