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ORLANDO, Fla. – Jake Bequette, the U.S. Army veteran and former NFL player running for Senate as a Republican in Arkansas, told Fox News Saturday that Russia’s aggression in Ukraine is a direct “consequence” of the “weakness and incompetence” displayed by the Biden administration during the withdrawal of U.S. military assets from Afghanistan.
Bequette says peace in the world is “only secure through American strength.”
During an interview with Fox News Saturday on the sidelines of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Bequette said he knew the consequences of President Biden’s approach to withdrawing troops would “go far beyond” Afghanistan.
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“What’s happening in Eastern Europe is a direct result of the weakness and incompetence displayed by Joe Biden over the Afghanistan debacle,” Bequette told Fox News. “We’re seeing the enemies of this country in Eastern Europe, South China Sea, in Tehran — they’re making aggressive moves because they see a weak and incompetent commander-in-chief, and it is a shame to see President Biden react too late — too little, too late.”
“When we project weakness and fecklessness and incompetence, the world becomes a more dangerous place,” Bequette said.
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Bequette said he opposed the president’s approval on Thursday of the deployment of an additional 7,000 U.S. troops to Germany in the wake of Russia’s multi-front war on Ukraine. Biden, though, maintained that U.S. forces will “not be engaged in the conflict with Russia in Ukraine,” but rather are in Europe to “defend our NATO allies and reassure those allies in the East.”
“I don’t think we should be sending American troops into battle on the frontiers of Eastern Europe. We have enough problems domestically,” Bequette said, referring to the “open” Southern Border. “I don’t think we should be committing American ground forces in Eastern Europe.”
Bequette said, though, that the way to “stop these aggressive incursions” is to “make red lines clear and defend them as you lay them down.”
“You saw with the Obama administration — red lines were repeatedly violated,” Bequette said. “President Trump fixed that and projected American strength abroad, and now, just over a year into the Biden administration, the enemies of this country, they see weakness.”
Bequette enlisted in the U.S. Army in August 2017, completed Army Ranger school in October 2018 and was deployed to Iraq under former President Trump as part of the 101st Airborne Division. He doubled down on the need for a “strong” commander-in-chief.
“This is one thing I want to make very clear: I knew, and every soldier in my battalion knew, that we had a commander-in-chief who had our back, and we knew that if the worst happened to us, then our enemies would pay for it immediately,” Bequette told Fox News. “And even more importantly than that, our enemies knew that.
“And so, we had a strong commander-in-chief, and then we had peace. Now, we have a weak and incompetent commander-in-chief, and we have a world that is, frankly, unraveling.”
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Bequette said he believes “the existential threat to this country is not Russia or what’s happening in Ukraine.”
“It is a potential union between Russia and China,” he warned. “The one thing we have to avoid in terms of geopolitics is an alliance between Russia and China, and the Biden administration, through their bumbling and incompetence, have pushed those two enemies together.”
Bequette is primary-challenging Republican incumbent Sen. John Boozman, who he told Fox News is “totally invisible” on the issue in Ukraine and “all others.”
“He is in the witness protection program,” Bequette said. “The people of Arkansas deserve someone who is going to lead from the front, someone to give the people of Arkansas a voice, which is what they expect and what they deserve.”
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Boozman, though, enjoys an endorsement from former President Trump, who threw his support behind the candidate in March 2021, months before Bequette launched his campaign.
Bequette said that, through his military experience, he understands “the needs and concerns of not only the soldiers on the ground, but also how we can fix these problems in the upper echelons of our military leadership.”
“That’s one of the hallmarks of my campaign,” Bequette told Fox News. “That’s what I’ll do in D.C. if I’m elected, and God willing, the people of Arkansas will send me to do that job for them.”
The Republican primary in Arkansas is May 24.
Source URL: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/arkansas-senate-candidate-jake-bequette-peace-in-world-american-strength