Conservative lawyer George Conway on Sunday criticized former Vice President Mike Pence for his “insulting, ridiculous and stupid” attack on former President Donald Trump.
Hamas fired thousands of rockets into Israel on Saturday morning as dozens of its fighters infiltrated the fortified border in areas near the Gaza Strip by air, land and sea, marking the latest escalation in the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The attack sparked bipartisan criticism from leaders in the United States, and President Joe Biden vowed to stand with Israel. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a televised address on Saturday that the country was now “at war.”
Pence, who is running in the Republican presidential primary, appeared on CNN State of the nation to discuss the attack Sunday morning and suggested that Republican foreign policy rhetoric played a role in the attack.
“This is what happens when leading voices like Donald Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy and Ron DeSantis signal a retreat from America’s role as leader of the free world,” Pence said on CNN.
He continued: “What happened in Ukraine was an unprovoked invasion by Russia. What happened this weekend was an unprovoked invasion of Israel by Hamas. I really believe now more than ever in both the debate within the Republican Party and the debate within America. “It’s about whether or not we will once again unapologetically emerge as leaders of the free world.”
His comments drew criticism from Conway, who has turned against the Republican Party for supporting Trump and helped found the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump political action committee. In a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, he wrote that candidates should not use the attack for “political gain.”
“While Trump, Ramaswamy and DeSantis are despicable in many ways, this attempt to exploit Hamas’ monstrous attack for personal political gain is offensive, ridiculous and stupid. The truth is that this attack was not due to anything the United States did or did not do,” Conway wrote.
Some conservatives have moved toward more isolationist policies and believe the federal government should interfere less in other countries’ affairs. The war between Russia and Ukraine has led to Republican resistance to providing military aid to Kiev, with some saying the funds should instead be spent domestically – a stark contrast to pre-Trump Republican rhetoric.
Pence presented himself as a more traditional conservative and called for a rejection of the isolationist policies advocated by some on the right. However, Trump remains the front-runner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary as conservative voters embrace his brand of politics and foreign policy.
The former president addressed the attack in a Truth Social post on Saturday, writing that his administration had brought “so much peace” to the region.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr., the former president’s son, also wrote a post on X defending his father.
“You are the embodiment of the kind of weakness that led to this. You should have been careful as you crawled at the Master’s feet. Trump brought peace because the world knew – come find out! We will never do that. “Return to the failed approach of you and your university fools,” he wrote, referring to Pence.
Newsweek Pence’s campaign emailed for comment.