US Rep. Steve King's early dire warnings that Vladimir Putin would not settle for taking over Crimea seem prophetic.
King commented on the Russian incursion into Ukraine and other issues before he headlined an Emmet County Republican fundraiser Tuesday night at Cross Roads Community Church in Estherville. Joining King on a dais was Sam Clovis, candidate for the US senate seat being vacated by Tom Harkin, a Democrat.
King pointed to 2008 when he was in the Republic of Georgia a week after the Russian invasion and found it obvious that the Russians were intent on reestablishing the borders of the former Soviet Union. King sees the odds of a Russian move to occupy Ukraine within the next 60 days "better than even." He would also like Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey assess if the US should send missiles to Poland and radar to the Czech Republic. Also, King would like to assess overall will of Ukrainians as to whether they want to live under the sphere of Russia or not. King also favors sailing a couple more ships to the Black Seas to show US support. Then he would like to prepare Ukraine to come under NATO. Presently, he doesn't believe the country is stable enough.
King also believes the US should help build up other Eastern European nations.
"The more he (Putin) takes, the harder it will be," King said.
As for the issue of raising the minimum wage, King said President Obama brought up the issue because it divides Republicans and unites Democrats.
"It should not be set by the federal government," said King. "But the President's picked it up for political purposes."
King declined to endorse any of the Republicans running for Tom Harkin's soon-to-be-vacated seat.
He did give solid opinions of four candidates - Clovis, Joni Ernst, Matt Whitaker and Mark Jacobs - saying they were "the four candidates that are the most viable." Also running is Republican Scott Schaben.
Iowa 1st District Rep. Bruce Braley is the Democrat running for Harkin's seat.