OPINION | EDITORIAL: Another walk-back

This one from a Republican

We're big believers in make-up calls. We wish the Razorbacks would get more of 'em. When you're wrong, try to make up for it, will ya?

Americans are used to walk-backs among their politicians. Especially given the crew in the White House these days. The current occupant of the Oval Office is apt to say anything to anybody, and his people have to walk back his comments often enough.

That's good. No use on doubling down on a mistaken word.

The governor of Florida, and one of the leading contenders for the Republican nomination for next year's presidential race, said his remarks about Russia's invasion of Ukraine were "mischaracterized." Which is great news. Because for a minute there we thought he called that invasion a mere territorial dispute.

Which he did.

He was quickly hit about his head and shoulders (metaphorically) from a covey of American leaders, including Republicans. So he took to Fox Nation and Piers Morgan to walk back the previous statement.

Ron DeSantis--who will be asked more and more often about global affairs--told the network that the Russian invasion was wrong, but somehow tried to tiptoe about the difference between a "conflict area" and ... something else. We're not quite sure.

But Governor DeSantis did call Vladimir Putin a war criminal, and said that Russia was "basically a gas station with a bunch of nuclear weapons," which makes us jealous we didn't think of that description first.

"And so, if I should have made that more clear, I could have done it," he said. "But I think the larger point is, OK, Russia is not showing the ability to take over Ukraine, to topple the government or certainly to threaten NATO. That's a good thing. They've been weakened."

He continued: "I just don't think that's a sufficient interest for us to escalate more involvement. I would not want to see American troops involved there. But the idea that I think somehow Russia was justified, that's nonsense.

"If I could snap my fingers, I'd give it back to Ukraine 100 percent," he added. "Russia did not have the right to go into Crimea or to go in February of 2022, and that should be clear."

As Nixon's people used to say, the new statement is the operative statement; the previous statement is no longer operative.

The governor said that the U.S. should not escalate its involvement in Ukraine, which intelligent people can debate. And he said American ground troops there would be a mistake. About which intelligent people must agree.

He'll get more and more of these fastballs from the press as he climbs in the polls. And as the debates/fall/silly season get closer, he'll need to study up on a bunch of different places. (Iran, Taiwan, Mexico, France, Red China--the list is long.) Being the president of the United States is a lot different than being the governor of Florida. The worries cover all time zones.

But don't be afraid of the walk-back, governor. Nobody's perfect.

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