Washington Post columnist Max Boot joined CNN to discuss a recent column in which he condemned “MAGA Republicans” for opposing billions of dollars in funding to Ukraine while calling for those funds to be rerouted to domestic causes.
When asked why some Congressional Republicans have long called for a pause in funding for the war effort, Boot blamed “isolationist” sentiments popular with the GOP base, as well as an “affinity for Putin” driven by former President Donald Trump.
“I think there’s a lot of isolationism among Republicans. I think there’s also some affinity for Putin. I think a lot of this is being driven by Donald Trump,” Boot said. “There are a lot of Republicans who know better, including Mitch McConnell, who said, this is not the time to go wobbly. And it’s pretty obvious that there are bipartisan majorities in both chambers of Congress that continue funding aid to Ukraine.”
The Washington Post columnist was then asked about growing opposition to limitless Ukraine funding, including one recent poll that found more than 60 percent of Americans want Congress to pause the cash flow. CNN’s own August poll found that 55 percent of respondents wanted a pause, representing a dramatic shift from February 2022, when 68 percent of those polled wanted funding to increase.
“They are resonating but i think they’re just very bad argument,” Boot stated when presented with counter arguments to Ukraine funding. “And i think the resonating because they play into the isolationism of a lot of the Republican base, but they’re horrible arguments because the reality is that U.S. aid to Ukraine has been one of the most successful, if not the most successful, foreign policy initiatives the United States has undertaken since the end of the Cold War.”
He went on to claim that the war poses no risk of escalation to a potential world war or nuclear conflict, instead arguing that the U.S. is weakening Russia without losing any American lives. “For a relatively small investment, yes, we are spending tens of billions of dollars on Ukraine, but all that amounts to roughly one-half of one percent of federal spending. So for a very small investment, a very tiny portion of defense spending in particular, we are helping the free people of Ukraine to resist aggression, this evil aggressor that has invaded their country, and in the process we’re helping them to devastate the Russian war machine,” Boot said.
“They are inflicting the kind of losses that Russia has not seen since World War II, and that is degrading dramatically one of the most anti-American, one of the most threatening countries in the world that we ourselves face. So, the Ukrainians are fighting our battle for us, and we don’t have to risk a single American soldier. It’s a tremendous investment and it would be the height of folly to cut soldier. It’s a tremendous investment and it would be the height of folly to cut them off.”