On Sunday, three Republican presidential candidates strongly condemned President Joe Biden’s handling of the end of the war in Afghanistan, berating the administration’s conduct of the US withdrawal as weak and encouraging its opponents.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and former Vice President Mike Pence attended Governor Pete Ricketts’ annual steak-fry fundraiser in Nebraska City, a town in the south-eastern corner. east of the state and a few miles from Iowa, traditionally the first state to vote in the presidential primaries.
The three Republicans, all weighing 2024 campaigns, have spoken to more than 1,000 Nebraska party supporters. All praised the American troops who served in the 20 Years War sparked by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but the trio did little to rekindle the political unity that defined the days and the weeks following September 11.
“They’re watching what’s going on, in China and Iran and North Korea and Moscow,” DeSantis said. “These countries feared Donald Trump They don’t fear Joe Biden and they don’t respect Joe Biden.”
Cruz has repeatedly called the administration’s response to the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan as Americans, Westerners and Afghans with ties to the United States rushed to leave the country “a disaster”.
“Every enemy of America takes the measure of the man in the Oval Office and everyone, every one of them has determined that the president is weak and ineffective,” said Cruz.
Biden and other senior U.S. officials expressed surprise last month at the pace of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan ahead of the U.S. exit deadline of Saturday, September 11. On August 26, approximately 170 Afghans and 13 US servicemen, including Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan William-Tyeler Page, 23, of Omaha, was killed in a suicide bombing attack by Islamist extremists at Kabul airport as people flocked to flee the country.
“The chaos that followed and the loss of 13 amazing service members and women, including a hero from here in Nebraska, broke my heart because it never had to happen,” Pence said.
Pence described an Oval Office meeting in which Trump, discussing plans to pull the United States out of Afghanistan with the Taliban in early 2020, threatened military strikes if the Taliban allowed them to harm Americans. The Biden administration followed the bombing of Kabul airport with airstrikes against Islamic extremists.
The GOP picnic on the grounds of Arbor Lodge State Historic Park along the Missouri River served as Republicans’ first stop for the 2024 presidential election, even as Trump hinted at a third campaign.
“I know what I’m going to do, but we’re not supposed to be talking about it right now,” Trump said on Saturday, during a visit with New York City police and firefighters, according to the New York Post. “But I think you’re going to be happy, let me put it that way.
DeSantis, an outspoken rising Republican figure in his critique of Biden’s COVID-19 policies, criticized him for exceeding the president’s sweeping new federal vaccine requirements for private sector employees, workers in health and federal contractors in the face of the increase in the delta variant of COVID-19.
“I’m fighting him,” DeSantis said, nodding at the lawsuit being discussed by Republican governors. “We’re going to be on the front line with a full answer.”
Several Republican governors, including Ricketts, said last week that they were discussing suing the White House over Biden’s vaccine requirement.
The Independent Gt