Former US Vice President Mike Pence, a member of the Republican Party, warned of a growing populism in that party and criticized those who defend Putin for not being ready to confront the Russian president over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In a speech to the conservative Heritage Foundation, less than a month before midterm elections for the US Congress, Pence addressed the widening gap between traditional conservatives and a new generation of populist candidates, inspired in part by former US President Donald Trump who has transformed a large part of the Republican Party.
“Today, at the dawn of a new era of Republican leadership, I think we need to chart a course that doesn’t veer too far in one direction or another,” Pence told the audience, adding:
“Our movement cannot abandon its fundamental commitment to safety, limited government, liberty and life.
Then he added:
“Let me say this: this movement and the party it starts must remain a movement of strict national defense, limited government, traditional moral values and life.”
Along those lines, Pence criticized those in the Republican Party who are pushing the country for an isolationist foreign policy, especially when it comes to Russian aggression against Ukraine.
“Look, I know there are growing rumors about the functioning of our party, such as rumors that our movement will cut us off from the wider world.
But reconciliation has never, ever worked in history. Now more than necessary is a conservative movement dedicated to America’s role as the leader of the free world and as the vanguard of American values,” Pence said.
The former vice president of the United States from the era of President Donald Trump addressed the developments in Ukraine.
“As Russia wages its reckless war of aggression against Ukraine, I believe conservatives must make it clear that Putin must stop and that Putin must pay. There can be no place in the conservative movement for those who justify Putin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin today imposed military rule in four regions of Ukraine that were illegally annexed by Russia. Meanwhile, Russian military forces are suffering casualties from Ukrainian forces, and Moscow is sending missiles and suicide drones into Ukrainian cities and the country’s vital infrastructure.