Romney dings Biden for lack of bipartisanship

Utah senator says the White House’s agenda is faltering because they’re not negotiating with Republicans.

(Screengrab via Grabien) Sen. Mitt Romney appears on NBC's Meet the Press on January 16, 2022.

Sen. Mitt Romney took a swing at President Joe Biden’s agenda on Sunday morning, saying his focus on unpopular policies has distracted him from a laundry list of more important issues.

“People are seven percent poorer because of Biden’s inflation. Gasoline prices are 50 percent higher than they were when he took office. The border is a mess. COVID is resurgent, but he didn’t have in place the tests people needed to keep themselves safe,” Romney said.

During an interview on Meet the Press, Romney said the White House is causing a greater rift in America because they’re not working with Congress on a bipartisan basis.

“Things are not going well and the president needs to stop and reset and say what is he trying to accomplish,” Romney said. “If it’s to try and transform America, he’s not going to unite us. Bringing us together means finding a way to work on a bipartisan basis.”

The current flashpoint in the U.S. Senate is over voting rights as Republicans have blocked several pieces of legislation. Last week, Biden said he would support a change in the Senate filibuster rules to get around Republican obstructionism.

Romney disagreed, saying there are plenty of issues Republicans would be willing to work with him on, like education and health care. But what about voting rights? Romney said the White House never asked him.

“This election reform bill that the president has been pushing, I never got a call on that from the White House. There was no negotiation bringing Republicans and Democrats together to try and come up with something that would meet bipartisan interest,” Romney said.

Romney, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he’s worried about Russia’s aggressive stance toward Ukraine, and the U.S. needs to make it clear there will be severe consequences if they take military action.

U.S. officials are warning that Russia is working to manufacture a reason for invading Ukraine. The White House said last week that Russia is preparing a “false flag” operation to give the appearance that Ukrainian forces are initiating hostilities against Russian troops, giving them an excuse to begin military operations.

“They’ve got to understand there will be extraordinary consequences, and military options are things we don’t talk about, but other consequences. We can align with our neighbors and make sure the Russians understand that this time is going to make a real difference,” Romney said.

He added the best tool to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin is severe economic sanctions.

“The type of sanctions we put in place have to be of a different nature than those we’ve had in the past. And he has to understand that it’s not just the U.S., but it’s Germany and it’s the U.K. and France and all of the E.U. are going to come together on a collective basis,” Romney said.