On Wednesday, neoconservative Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw butted heads with Fox News’ Rachel Campos-Duffy over the Republican voters’ views on Russia’s war on Ukraine and whether or not the U.S. should should pursue an America First or interventionist foreign policy.
Crenshaw accused conservative opponents of clashing with Russia of “using Putin’s talking points.”
The exchange happened on “Fox & Friends.”
Campos-Duffy, the wife of former Wisconsin Republican congressman Sean Duffy, noted that there is a debate among the Republican base on whether the U.S. should intervene or not, and pointed out that those urging caution are often portrayed as “Putin supporters or traitorous.”
Crenshaw doesn’t think there is a major split on this issue within his party.
“I don’t think it’s as evenly split as you make it seem on the Republican side,” Crenshaw told Campos-Duffy. “I think it’s a very small minority that believes that we shouldn’t care about anything that goes on in the world.”
“That’s not what I said,” Campos-Duffy shot back.
Crenshaw continued, “I know, but that’s what a lot of people say and they do repeat Putin’s talking points and that’s a problem. When they start repeating Putin’s talking points and repeating lies about Ukrainians.”
He didn’t explain what “lies about Ukrainians” are supposedly being “repeated.”
“I don’t think so,” the Fox News host replied.
Crenshaw then tried to flip the America First argument on its head.
“It is not America First to watch around the world as Russia and China take over and destroy our allies,” Crenshaw claimed. “That’s America Last.”
Campos-Duffy stood up for Republican who want restraint and the notion that having that view makes one a tool of Russia.
“Congressman, I just want to make a point,” Campos-Duffy told Crenshaw. “I appreciate your perspective, but since you did say that it’s repeating Russian talking points I’m just going to have to push back. I’m not repeating Russian talking points, and I think I represent the way a lot of other conservatives feel. I don’t think they’re repeating Russian talking points.”
“They’re not isolationists, they’re seeing, for example, the alignment of China and Russia because of the way this war was handled,” she continued. “I think they’re seeing a lot of things and I think on the Republican side saying they’re repeating Russian talking points shuts down conversations and does not allow us to have a robust debate which we should be having,” she continued.
Crenshaw said that calling Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky a “thug” and claiming that aid is going to neo-Nazis is “repeating Russian talking points.”
On the latter point, the existence of neo-Nazis in Ukraine has long been covered by the media.
In 2018, Congress even banned the most well-known of them, the Azov Battalion, from receiving aid.
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