Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Monday said that President Biden is neglecting domestic problems by making an international trip this week that included a surprise trip to Kyiv to show support for Ukraine in its war with Russia.
“We have a lot of problems accumulating here in our own country that he is neglecting,” DeSantis said in an appearance on Fox News after news of Biden’s surprise trip to visit with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Biden made the visit to the war-torn capital of Kyiv just days before the country’s war with Russia reaches its first anniversary.
The president said the trip was meant to showcase the strength of Ukraine and the solidarity of the U.S., while also announcing an additional $500 million in American support to Ukraine.
But Republicans back home quickly seized on the international trip to argue that Biden is ignoring domestic priorities, including immigration and national security.
“While he’s over there, I think I and many Americans are thinking to ourselves: OK, he’s very concerned about those borders halfway around the world. He’s not done anything to secure our own borders here at home,” DeSantis, who is thought to be getting closer to making a decision on if he will run for the White House in 2024, said. “We’ve had millions and millions of people pour in … and then of course we just suffered a national humiliation of having China fly a spy balloon clear across the continental United States.”
Other Republican lawmakers quickly pounced on Biden for the visit.
“When our border is in crisis, Joe Biden goes home to nap in Delaware,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said on Twitter. “So on Presidents’ Day, I’m not surprised that Biden is ditching America for Ukraine.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), a frequent agitator of the White House, blasted Biden for not visiting Ohio, where a train derailment earlier this month has caused an environmental disaster.
“Biden didn’t go to East Palestine, Ohio on President’s Day,” Greene said on Twitter. “He went to Ukraine, a NON-NATO nation, whose leader is an actor and is apparently now commanding our United States military to world war. We must impeach this America Last fool before it’s too late.”
The criticism about the president’s trip to Ukraine comes as some in the GOP have soured on the amount of U.S. support that has been given to the warring country, with some calling on the White House to provide a clear path for the end of the conflict.