Nikki Haley Says ‘We Must Do More to Help Ukraine’

Former U.S. Nikki Haley, current presidential candidate and ambassador to the United Nations, has recently expressed her unwavering support for the U.S. to continue funding Ukraine in its fight against Russia. In a recent interview, she said that ensuring the victory of Ukraine against Moscow would protect U.S. security by deterring China’s plans. Haley’s position could prove a major obstacle in her bid to be nominated for the Republican nomination.

Haley took part in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper. Tapper asked first about the G20 Summit refusing to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine despite having done so the year before. Haley replied by saying that it was a “win for Russia and China”, and that President Joe Biden should have “really pushed to acknowledge what Joe Biden acknowledged a year earlier: that Russia infiltrated a pro-American, freedom-loving nation.”

Tapper turned the conversation back to House Republicans, who “are fighting to strip $24 billion of aid to Ukraine from the upcoming Government Spending Bill.” Haley’s response:

You have to consider the fact that 3.5 percent of our defense budget has been allocated to Ukraine. This is just 3.5 percent of the GDP. Eleven European nations have spent more money than we did. We know that Russia said they would take Ukraine and then move on to Poland and the Baltics. Then you are looking at a full war. We’re trying to prevent war. This is a good return on investment for preventing war. To win, I believe we should continue to give them ammunition and equipment with our allies. I don’t believe we should give them cash. I don’t believe we need troops on the ground. We must finish this. We must always keep in mind that a victory for Russia is also a victory for China. This is what they’ve said. China is currently our greatest national security threat.

Tapper clarified that Haley believes that the Ukraine funding should be included in the bill. Haley replied:

Both Republicans and Democrats must not withdraw from Afghanistan. Do not pull out of Afghanistan now. Putin has hit rock bottom. We know this because he gets drones and missiles in North Korea from Iran. We know this because the Russian government has raised the age of eligibility for military service to 65.

The candidate continued to say that, while the country does not “want another war,” “the only way to make this happen is to have Ukraine win.”

Haley brought up the issue of China and Taiwan, noting that “China will stay far away from Taiwan” if Ukraine defeats Russia. She also noted that the U.S. will “handle Russia and China just by doing that,” if it helps Ukraine win.

Haley’s remarks would have been music in the ears of those who are more Neocon/Establishment inclined. There is a problem. The Republican base is not in favor of sending money and arms to Ukraine. A CNN poll conducted in August revealed that a staggering 71 percent of Republicans opposed Congress authorizing additional funding for Ukraine. Axios/Ipsos’s March survey found that only 41 percent of adults with a right-leaning wanted to continue receiving the money.

These numbers suggest that Haley’s foreign policy positions could be a major liability in primary races. She is a hawkish Republican of old, but we live in a new era. This type of view is about as appealing to Republican voters as a porcupine inside a balloon manufacturing factory. It’s unlikely to be well received by the Republican base. This could doom her chances of occupying the White House.